The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the government
is breaking the European Convention on Human Rights by blocking men
from receiving both a widow’s payment and the widowed mother’s
The ruling followed a case brought by Kevin Willis, a father of
two from Bristol, who was awarded £25,000 in damages and
£12,500 costs and expenses.
He had claimed an infringement of the convention’s sex
discrimination rules when he was refused access to the benefits
following the death of his wife, who had been the main wage earner.
The court said that a “female in the same position would have had a
right to receive both benefits”, noting that his wife had paid full
social security contributions when at work.