The MoD has been ordered to pay just over £17,000 in compensation to Tilern DeBique, the female soldier who won a claim of sexual discrimination against the Army.

Single mother Tilern DeBique was disciplined after missing a parade to look after her daughter, while a month earlier she had missed training when her child was ill.

She told the tribunal that her employer expected her to be available for duty at all times and added that her employer had said the Army was “unsuitable for a single mother who couldn’t sort out her childcare arrangements”. DeBique was recruited on the Caribbean island of St Vincent and had asked for a relative to come to the UK to look after her child, but this request was refused by immigration.

The eventual compensation of £17,016 was significantly less than some had expected, with some experts predicting a six-figure sum.

Philip Henson, head of employment law at Bargate Murray, commented: “Although the amount awarded to Tilern DeBique by the employment tribunal today will not be viewed as a momentous sum, especially in view of her legal costs, the significance of her victory over the Ministry Of Defence should not be overlooked. No doubt the MoD will review if there are any lessons to be learnt from this litigation, and consider if they need to review their own policies to accommodate the needs of single mothers in the armed forces; especially in view of the reported comments from the employment judge that she had not been treated ‘on a level playing field’.”