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|Soldier Mum Discrimination Case Payout|
A SOLDIER mum is set to receive a big cash settlement after winning a discrimination case against the Army over BABYSITTING.
Single mum Tilern DeBique had been disciplined after she failed to turn out for parade citing childcare problems.
But after her commanding officer told her the Army was "unsuitable for a single mother who couldn’t sort out her childcare arrangements" she launched a sex and race discrimination case.
Miss DeBique, 28, was serving with the 10th Signal Regiment and was expected to be available 24 hours a day.
She had wanted to bring a relative over from her home in St Vincent to look after the child but was told immigration rules meant they could stay for no more than six months.
She feared she would soon be dismissed and quit the Army after seven years in April 2008.
Central London Employment Tribunal slammed Army chiefs for not helping her enough with childcare arrangements.
It said she had been treated badly compared with male soldiers and others who were not Foreign and Commonwealth personnel.
And the tribunal concluded the Army could have asked the UK Border Agency to relax immigration controls to help her half-sister stay in the country.
Miss DeBique appeared before the tribunal today chasing a six-figure sum in compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages.
The MoD had already failed in having the ruling over sex and racial discrimination overturned on appeal.
Miss DeBique - who lived in family accommodation at Chelsea Barracks, south-west London - said she had always dreamt of joining the Army and if it were not for the discrimination she would have completed the full 22 years service.
She said: "I know what I signed up for. I know the life I grew up with. It is not what I wanted for my daughter.
"There was no way that anything was going to prevent me giving her the life she deserves."
She joined up in March 2001 and was allowed to work restricted hours during the week and avoid weekend duties after the birth of her daughter in 2005.
But after failing to appear on parade in January 2007 she was told she faced disciplinary action.
Miss DeBique told the tribunal special arrangements were made for single parents but these were not offered to Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers like her.
The tribunal ruled: "Despite it being foreseeable that Miss DeBique could become a single parent while in service... the Army failed to make appropriate arrangements for such an eventuality.
"Bearing in mind the recruitment campaigns, the tribunal would expect that the Army would make those arrangements.
"The arrangements could have been to provide proper childcare provisions. But that was not done or done effectively."
The MoD insisted she could have taken another posting instead of quitting altogether.
It must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the devastation produced on the enemy by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge, and the terror of cold steel. - British Army Cavalry training manual 1907