A HAMPSHIRE police officer has been awarded more than £11,000 compensation after she had her promotion taken away when she asked for flexible working to look after her two young children.

Mother-of-two Hayley Burden won her claim for indirect sex discrimination against Hampshire Constabulary after the force posted her to a police station more than an hour's commute from her family home in Waterlooville, Hampshire.

The 46-year-old, whose husband is also a police officer, had been promoted in 2013 but the promotion was removed when she asked for flexible working hours as she could not provide childcare for her young children at 5.30am for her to begin work at 7am.

The Southampton tribunal ruled that the constabulary's actions were discriminatory and ordered that Mrs Burden be reinstated to the rank of sergeant.

The judgment said Hampshire Constabulary was "indirectly discriminatory because the claimant was unable to take up the posting because of her primary child care responsibilities".

It went on: "The claimant was due to commence this substantive sergeant post on 28 October 2013. However, the respondent refused the claimant's flexible working request. The claimant decided on 29 October 2013 that she would not be able to take up her promotion in Aldershot."

Six days later Mrs Burden was informed that she "would be considered as having withdrawn from the promotion process if she did not accept the posting in Aldershot".

Mrs Burden said she suffered anxiety and depression because of how she had been treated.

She said: "The last two years have been really stressful for me and my family. This whole affair has had a big impact on my home life so I am delighted that the judgment was in my favour.

"Now I hope I can move forward and get on with my career. I just hope this never happens to anybody else."

John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, said: "This was an important case, not just for Hayley and the force but on a national level.

"It was clear that the force had not followed correct processes and that she had been treated unfairly and that is why we took legal action.

"We don't take action such as this lightly, but in the circumstances it was the right thing to do and I am pleased, with the help of Slater and Gordon, to have achieved this result."

Jasmine van Loggerenberg, Mrs Burden's lawyer from Slater and Gordon, said: "It's disappointing that Mrs Burden was subjected to discrimination because she asked for flexible working hours.

"We hope that Hampshire Constabulary and other forces note the findings of the tribunal and this does not happen again."

Following the case, which was funded by the Police Federation of England and Wales, the tribunal ordered Hampshire Constabulary to pay Mrs Burden £11,621 for injury to feelings, aggravated damages, loss of earnings and loss of pension plus interest. The force was also told to pay her £1,200 tribunal hearing fee.