Physical and mental impairments, which may have been caused by obesity, could be considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing Ltd).
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) said the focus should no longer be on what caused a disability but on the impairment an employee suffers from.
Obese individuals may be more likely to develop illnesses such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and heart disease, and these might be considered a disability.
Organisations with a high proportion of obese employees could find disability may be a much more common consideration than expected.
Source: CIPD (Chartered institute of Personnel & Development) (2013) Legal Lowdown: Obesity Can Mean Disability, Rules EAT. People Management. May 2013, pp.12.
- Is Obesity a Disability? (employmentlawblogdotlaytonsdotcom.wordpress.com)