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More than 2,000 military personnel take legal action against the MOD for discrimination over housing costs in claims worth up to £30 million in total

More than 2,000 members of the armed forces are taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence for discrimination against younger and unmarried personnel over housing costs in claims likely to be worth a total of £30 million.

Posted on 29 February 2024

As many as 80,000 serving members of the military could be eligible to join the claim for compensation after being unfairly overcharged by the MOD for housing in the last six months because of their age and potentially their marital status.

The claim relates to the MOD’s housing policy which requires all British Army personnel who are under 37, and those who are over 37 and unmarried, to pay for what is known as Single Living Accommodation. In contrast, Army personnel over the age of 37 and married are eligible for a valuable accommodation allowance. In the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy age is not taken into account, but only those who are married or in a civil partnership qualify for the accommodation allowance.

National Audit Office report found in 2021 that the MOD’s housing allowances system may be considered discriminatory, but there has been no change to the policy and younger and unmarried personnel continue to pay more for their accommodation. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that the MOD has put plans to change the allocation of military housing on hold after listening to feedback from serving personnel.

The amount of compensation will depend on how long individuals have spent in Single Living Accommodation and how much they paid for it. If the legal case, led by law firm Leigh Day, is successful most claims are expected to achieve compensation of around £15,000.

Leigh Day solicitor Ryan Bradshaw said:

“More than 2,000 younger or unmarried members of the armed forces have now joined our claim after paying more for their accommodation than those who are older or married. Whilst the Ministry of Defence has made some changes to reduce the unfairness in its housing policies, the current system still discriminates against people who are unmarried or under a certain age. Younger and unmarried military personnel may wish to join this claim to seek compensation for paying too much rent and to encourage the MOD to change this unfair policy.”

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible to join the claim can find out more here


Ryan Bradshaw
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Ryan Bradshaw

Ryan advises on human rights, discrimination and employment law

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Leigh Day's discrimination experts are currently investigating claims against the Ministry of Defence on behalf of thousands of service personnel. Get in touch today to find out how you can join the potential claim.

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