News Updates

Obesity as a disability

Friday 19th December 2014

Earlier this year we reported on the AG’s opinion in the Danish case of Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund.  The ECJ has now issued its judgment, confirming that although obesity is not a protected characteristic, the impairments that arise as a result can amount to a disability.  Given the ECJ’s focus on resulting impairment, rather than the cause, the judgment does not refer to a particular body mass index.  The AG had suggested a BMI over 40 would qualify as severely obese.  The key is whether obesity prevents full and effective participation in professional life. 

Further developments are likely and questions remain regarding matters such as reasonable adjustments.  For employers or employees seeking to manage these issues, please get in touch with your usual Parker & Co contact for further advice.

All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.