Can members of the armed forces bring age discrimination claims?
We believe that members of the armed forces should be able to bring the same legal claims about the unfair changes to their pensions as those brought by their public sector colleagues (firefighters, police, doctors, teachers etc). If the government tries to argue that members of the armed forces cannot bring age discrimination claims, we believe that we have a good chance at successfully defeating such an argument.
I’ve heard the Government are going to make sure everyone will be compensated so why do I need to join a legal claim?
Our view is that any statement suggesting that it is unnecessary to bring a claim about the discrimination which has already occurred since 2015 should be treated very cautiously.
Even if the government makes changes to the armed forces pension at some future point to put right the discrimination going forwards, there is no guarantee that it will compensate members of the armed forces for the past discrimination that has been taking place over the years since April 2015, unless they bring legal claims.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The normal time limit for bringing armed forces claims in the Employment Tribunal is six months less one day from the date of the incident complained about, but where the problem is ongoing, we will argue that the time limit will not yet have started to run.
We are bringing claims for anyone who is eligible and who is still in the regular armed forces, or who has left within the last three years and who has not yet started to draw their pension.
What about people who have left the armed forces since 2015?
We are bringing claims for anyone who is eligible and has left within the last three years.
I am in the reserves – can I bring a claim?
We are only bringing claims on behalf of those who are or were in the regular forces. You may have a claim if you are/were in the reserves but you would need to seek advice elsewhere about that.
How long will it take?
We think the claims could take roughly between one and two years, depending on the approach the government lawyers take.
Do I need to make a service complaint first?
You do need to make (and not withdraw) a service complaint in order to be able to bring an Employment Tribunal claim as a member of the armed forces. We will assist you with that process and prepare the service complaint on your behalf.
Can they discharge me if I bring a claim?
It would be unlawful for you to be discharged if you bring a claim.
When you bring a claim, you are automatically protected by law from any act of retaliation from your employer.
If we lose the claim, will I have to pay the government’s legal fees?
No, unless you behave in a vexatious, abusive, disruptive or otherwise unreasonable manner, or ignore an order of the Tribunal.
How will I be compensated?
If you win, the Tribunal will try, as far as possible, to put you in the position you would have been in if you had not been discriminated against. There are different ways that you may be compensated, but it’s most likely that the changes to the pension scheme will be treated as void, and therefore you are treated as if you never changed schemes.
I left after April 2015 but transferred my armed forces pension into another pension scheme – can I bring a claim?
We are bringing claims for those who are eligible and that includes those who have left within the last three years and have transferred their armed forces pension into another scheme.
I am often posted overseas – can I bring a claim?
Yes, you can still bring a claim in the Employment Tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland. We can keep you up to date with the claim by email when you are away from the UK.