New rules to protect workers have come into force today.

The rules shield pregnant women and new parents from redundancy while providing flexible working conditions.

These changes are part of new laws supporting families and hardworking Brits, while strengthening existing redundancy protections.

The measures are part of a government-backed initiative to support vulnerable workers and provide flexibility to both employees and businesses, to improve productivity, grow the economy, and reduce inactivity.

The new rules highlight a range of protections including redundancy safeguards for expecting and new parents, a leave entitlement for unpaid carers, and flexible paternity leave provisions.

Business minister, Kevin Hollinrake said: "Whether you're a new parent trying to juggle work commitments with a newborn or a pregnant woman balancing the pressures of work and life, or looking after a disabled or elderly family member while working, these new laws will give families greater security and flexibility.

"From childcare commitments to hospital appointments, the measures coming in today mean more flexibility over where and when you work, supporting workers across the UK."

Furthermore, the legislative changes also include measures to increase pay by decreasing taxes for the average worker, boosting the National Living Wage, and providing free childcare for working parents.

These changes come amidst a period of skills and labour shortages, and are aimed at attracting and retaining talent.

Jo Churchill, minister for employment, said: "We know that for some people balancing work with caring responsibilities can be a challenge.

"To help them and employers the changes we are announcing today will support even more people to find a job that works with their commitments.

"Being in work is the best way to get on and our £2.5bn Back to Work Plan offers unprecedented support to help more than a million people find, stay and succeed in work."

Joeli Brearley, founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, said: "A significant number of new mums are pushed out of their job because they are seen as less committed to their role or a burden to business, the impact can be catastrophic for women and their families.

"Extending redundancy protections to pregnant women and parents returning from leave is a vital step towards reducing pregnancy and maternity discrimination."

Research indicates that the laws will help increase workforce participation, safeguard vulnerable workers, and create a level playing field to help the economy thrive.

The laws also aim to prevent unethical businesses from gaining a competitive advantage.