MoD criticised for inconsistent approach to equality

The
UK’s equality body has criticised the Ministry of Defence after an employment
tribunal ruled that it had not dealt with a training ground incident
appropriately.

The
tribunal heard how an entire platoon of soldiers attended parade dressed as
women to make fun of Joanne Wingate, who was undergoing gender reassignment.

Although
it ruled Wingate had not been discriminated against it said the MoD should
"not have written it off as banter or horseplay. It was clearly directed
at the applicant and was obviously highly unpleasant and hurtful".

Jenny
Watson, deputy chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC),

said
the case was part of a wider picture within the MoD and suggested its equal
opportunities policies were not being implemented in a consistent way.

"Although
Wingate did not win her case, the tribunal was very critical of the way in
which some incidents were handled by the MoD. We have seen a series of recent
discrimination claims against the MoD that raise serious questions about the
implementation of its equal opportunities policies. This gives the EOC real
cause for concern," she said.

By Ross Wigham

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