Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Sailor suffered sex discrimination at Hampshire base

Chief petty officer Jacqueline Cartner
CPO Cartner was selected as the Nato Military Member of the Year in 2000

A female sailor awarded the MBE could receive a six-figure payout after winning a sex discrimination case against the Royal Navy.

Chief petty officer Jacqueline Cartner began a tribunal after she was passed over for promotion to warrant officer.

CPO Cartner, based at HMS Collingwood, in Hampshire, could receive a payout the equivalent of 10 years' pay if an agreement is not reached with the Navy.

The service said it intended to appeal against the tribunal's findings.

CPO Cartner's solicitor, Kam Bains, said the tribunal ruled the Royal Navy had discriminated against the sailor, contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

He said it also made recommendations for reform as it found the Navy's promotion system was "a matter of concern" and the procedure employed by the promotion board was "primitive".

The case, heard in Southampton, concerned the decision of the Royal Navy's annual promotion board in 2008, where CPO Cartner was the only female candidate considered for promotion against a number of male candidates.

She claimed she was a better candidate because she had carried out the role of warrant officer in an acting capacity since February 2006, while none of her competitors had performed at that level.

She also asserted that she was seen as less worthy of promotion on the grounds of her non-seagoing status.

'Very disappointed'
CPO Cartner was selected as the Nato Military Member of the Year in 2000 and awarded an MBE in 2001.

I am sad that it has had to come this far
CPO Cartner

Mr Bains said she had received excellent appraisals throughout her career, having been promoted to each and every rank faster than every one of her competitors and regularly outperformed other male peers.

The mother-of-two, who serves at Fareham-based HMS Collingwood and is married to a Royal Naval officer, said: "This has been a very long and painful road for both me and my family, and I am sad that it has had to come this far.

"However, I am glad that the tribunal ruling has served to vindicate my claims of sex discrimination."

A Royal Navy spokesman said the service was "very disappointed" with the tribunal's findings.

"After consideration and with advice from MoD's legal advisers, it is intended to appeal," he added.

A hearing to decide the level of compensation is expected to be held in April.

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