Ministry of Defence can’t see the target

February 23, 2010
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My client Donna Rayment, a Lance-Sergeant in the Army who served 17 years in the TA with commendations and an exemplary service record, won her harassment claim against the MOD last week. The judge found that she had suffered 4 serious incidents of “oppressive and unacceptable” behaviour by officers of the Honourable Artillery Company, for whom she was recruited as the Commanding Officer’s driver. They allowed offensive and pornographic pictures to be displayed in the transport rest-room, told her that her recruitment to the job was all a mistake, told her she didn’t have a job and must repay a month’s wages, disciplined her instead of apologizing to her when she made a formal complaint under the Army’s grievance procedure, made her ill by their treatment of her, sacked her during her sick leave, denied they had done anything wrong and then waited 4 _ years and racked up thousands of £s of legal costs on both sides before making any attempt to resolve the claim. Even their offer, when it came, was not viable because it did not allow her to argue for her costs. But if you’ve read the spin the MOD put on the case in the national press, you would think that they had won! They still don’t get the point. And if you read some of the nastier comments which have appeared on various websites, you’ll see exactly why she had to bring her claim through the courts and why, unfortunately, those same “oppressive and unacceptable” attitudes are still out there and need to be challenged.

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