Obese workers 'should start later'
Obese workers should be allowed to start work late to avoid the rush-hour crush, a British government adviser has said, and they should have the right to sue employers if they are not offered jobs or promotion because of their weight.
Professor Stephan Bevan, of the Institute for Employment Studies, said businesses should make more "accommodations" for workers carrying excess weight, adding it was time those suffering "functional impairment" were supported at work in the same way as those with other health conditions.
Critics called the idea "ridiculous", with concessions for the obese likely to fuel resentment among fellow workers.
But speaking at the European Congress on Obesity, in Vienna, Prof Bevan said the condition should be made a "protected characteristic" under the Equality Act.
"It's the same as if you went for a job and didn't get it because you were a woman," he said.
Prof Christopher Snowdon, a lifestyle expert, said: "Being fat is not a disability. If obese people are to be given special privileges, why not smokers, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers?"
It comes as projections to be presented at the congress by the UK Heart Forum and Institute of Technology in Ireland show that five million Britons will be morbidly obese by 2035, the Body Mass Index of those aged over 40 doubling within 20 years.