0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

can obesity be a disability?

18 July 2014

The number of people suffering from obesity in the UK has trebled over the last 25 years. But does obesity fall within the definition of disability under the Equal Treatment Framework Directive?

According to the Advocate General in his opinion in Kaltoft v The Municipality of Billund, it could but only if severe. The Advocate General pointed out that the directive covers physical and mental impairments which make “carrying out of that job or participation in professional life objectively more difficult and demanding”. His view was that a BMI of over 40 (WHO class III), impacting on mobility, endurance and mood would hinder an individual’s participation in professional life to such an extent as to amount to a disability.

Therefore if you have an employee who is severely obese (BMI of over 40) you may have to consider whether the organisation is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

related opinions

Home Office Central Registry for modern slavery statement goes live - first universities publish statements

The Home Office recently launched a central registry for modern slavery statements. A growing number of educational organisations, including a number of universities, have published statements on the registry.

View blog

Equal pay at ASDA stores - appeal to the Supreme Court unsuccessful

35,000 workers working in ASDA’s retail business sought to compare themselves to workers at distribution depots for equal pay purposes. Find out more about this Employment Appeal Tribunal.

View blog

Supreme Court confirms that sleep ins are not working time

The Supreme Court judgment represents the conclusion on whether or not “sleep in time” should be classified as working time, when calculating the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

View blog

Mencap case: No entitlement to National Minimum Wage for sleep-in shifts

In a pivotal and much anticipated judgment for the social care sector, the Supreme Court has ruled that workers are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage for all time spent on a sleep-in shift.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up