Severe obesity may qualify as a legal disability
Thursday 17th July 2014
The Advocate General, on a reference from the Danish Court in Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund, has stated that severe obesity may be a disability under EU equality legislation. It was suggested that a body mass index of over 40 would qualify as severely obese, as this would hinder full participation in professional life. The AG rejected the argument that EU law generally prohibited obesity discrimination. The AG’s opinion is not binding, but is usually followed.
The case has potentially significant implications for UK employers, including the potential application of the duty to make reasonable adjustments for severely obese employees.
All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.