A trade union organisation has slammed research suggesting many bosses still see pregnant employees as an "inconvenience."

The Trade Union Council (TUC) criticised employers after a survey said more than half of managers assess someone’s chances of falling pregnant before employing them.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This research paints a shocking picture of life for working women in the 21st century, where far too many bosses still see pregnant women as an inconvenience."

He was responding to figures from Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS) saying discrimination in the workplace was still a problem.

The research found that three quarters of managers admitted they would not take someone on if they knew they were going to become pregnant within six months of starting work.

Quoted by the BBC, head of consultancy at ELAS Peter Mooney said that bosses would still shy away from employing a candidate who was pregnant.

He added that bosses considered a potential pregnancy for a member of staff in terms of money.