In case you missed our October newsletter ( http://dmtrk.com/t/2DH3-852G-KJ9GP-31NQF-0/c.aspx ), the European court has ruled that obesity could be classified as a disability. It is estimated that 25% of the UK population is obese and like any form of discrimination the ruling does not exclusively apply to current employees but also potential employees involved in the recruitment process.
According to a recent survey of over 1000 employers, 45% of employers said they would be less likely to employ an obese applicant. Furthermore 61% of those surveyed said they would worry about an obese employee being less able or more likely to have time off sick in comparison to an employee who is a healthy weight.
Perhaps most alarmingly 26% of employers were unaware that unsuccessful obese applicants could bring a discrimination claim. Employers would also be obliged to make reasonable adjustments for obsess staff including reinforced chairs or healthy canteen options. If you are unaware or would like advice on how to handle potential issues arising from obesity then please contact us ( firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Obesity discrimination advice ).