Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
Severe obesity may be a disability
In a case which may have serious implications for employers, the Advocate General has given his Opinion to the ECJ that severe obesity may amount to a disability under the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive. The case of Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund deals with an individual who was employed as a child minder in Denmark and was dismissed because he was severely overweight. He is 1.72 metres tall (around 5 feet) and weighs around 25 stone, with a BMI of 54. Under the World Health Organisation Classifications he would be classified as class 3 obesity which is described as “severe, extreme or morbid obesity”. His claim before the Danish Court was referred to the ECJ to ask the question whether obesity fell within the discriminations prohibited under EU law.