In a bid to help companies survive the current financial downturn, the government is considering scrapping costly new maternity legislation.
There were previously plans to enhance maternity leave legislation, award government contracts to firms which publish diversity statistics and allow companies to hire under-represented staff into their organisation.
However, these proposals, championed by women's minister Harriet Harman, have now been pushed back.
This is due to business secretary Peter Mandelson and chancellor Alistair Darling calling for a halt on any plans which could result in extra costs for companies during the recession.
The prime minister's official spokesperson said: "It is right that we look closely at the costs to business and the timing of new regulations."
Earlier this month, the government was urged to scrap a new parking levy scheme which could see firms hit with a £3.4 billion charge.