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The Big Issue: should ‘fattism’ be outlawed?

The Big Issue: should ‘fattism’ be outlawed?

An Employment Judge has put his weight behind calls to outlaw ‘fattist’ discrimination in the UK. Judge Philip Rostant has said that overweight employees should have protection against discrimination, just as employees are protected against being discriminated against on other grounds (such as their race, sex or disability).

In an academic paper headed ‘All About That Bass? Is non-ideal weight discrimination unlawful in the UK?’ he highlighted how people of non ideal weight (whether overweight or severely under weight) may be subjected to discrimination in the workplace, such as by others making cruel remarks about their size. Judge Rostant is reported as saying that ‘This situation leaves a gap in the law, which is remediable only by legislative reform’.

It is very unlikely such a change would be made to UK law: As things stand, obese employees are only protected under the existing discrimination law if their obsesity amounts to a disability.