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Military personnel launch legal action against MOD for discrimination over housing costs

Military personnel launch legal action against MOD for discrimination over housing costs


Over 2,000 armed forces members take legal action against the MOD for discriminatory housing costs

More than 2,000 members of the armed forces are taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for alleged discrimination in housing costs targeting younger and unmarried personnel. The claims, expected to total £30 million, highlight disparities in the MOD's housing policy that has left thousands overcharged for accommodation.

The legal action, spearheaded by law firm Leigh Day, accuses the MOD of unfairly charging military personnel under the age of 37 and those over 37 but unmarried, for what is known as Single Living Accommodation. Meanwhile, their married counterparts enjoy a valuable accommodation allowance. Although the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy consider marriage or civil partnership for eligibility, age is not a determining factor.

A 2021 National Audit Office report flagged potential discrimination in the MOD's housing allowances system, but the policy remains unchanged, affecting younger and unmarried personnel. Despite the Ministry's plans to alter military housing allocation, the BBC reports a hold due to feedback from serving personnel.

Compensation in the successful legal case is anticipated to exceed £15,000, dependent on the duration spent in Single Living Accommodation and the amount paid for it. Leigh Day solicitor Ryan Bradshaw emphasised the need for change: “The current system still discriminates against people who are unmarried or under a certain age.”

The case echoes a 2021 victory when a Royal Navy officer won a discrimination case against the MOD regarding accommodations for LGBTQ+ personnel. The officer argued that housing policies discriminated based on sexual orientation.

As this legal battle unfolds, affected military personnel, numbering potentially up to 80,000, may join the claim to seek justice and prompt changes in the MOD's housing policies. Leigh Day invites those eligible to participate in the claim for compensation.

Lexis+ AI