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That fattist discrimination is allowed in the workplace?

(204 Posts)
SortedwishIwas Thu 12-Jan-17 12:00:57

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/24/fattist-discrimination-should-be-outlawed-in-the-workplace-says/

Just read this article and it says it is not illegal to discriminate against overweight people.

Yet fat people are protected only if they can prove they are also disabled

from the article. So it is seems to be ok to discriminate against someone who is fat but not if they are fat and disabled? hmm

This is worrying though but a separate issue from the same article

New forecasts show that obesity will soon be more common than being a normal weight.The figures from Cancer Research UK show on current trends, almost three in four adults will be overweight or obese by 2035.

ilovesooty Thu 12-Jan-17 12:04:31

Disability is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. Weight isn't.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 12-Jan-17 12:08:25

So, overweight people should be a protected class?

What about unattractive people?

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Thu 12-Jan-17 12:08:43

I don't know. While I definitely don't think anyone should ever be made to feel like they are worth less than others, but I don't know how you'd define discrimination against fat people. My 'fat' might not be your 'fat'. Would people determined fat get some kind of confirmation of their protected characteristic from the government? Who would decide if they were fat enough?

There's a woman at work who speaks very very loudly, I don't like it at all. I would try to avoid placing her with certain accounts because I know they definitely wouldn't like it either. I suppose that is discrimination in a way but it wouldn't stand up in court!

Being nasty to someone because they're fat is just plain mean, and in some cases could definitely be bullying. But I don't think if fatness should become a protected characteristic in the same way disabilities and sexuality are. For one thing, for most people, fatness is somewhat of a choice, and it's also something most people could change if they wanted to.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 12-Jan-17 12:09:56

New forecasts show that obesity will soon be more common than being a normal weight.The figures from Cancer Research UK show on current trends, almost three in four adults will be overweight or obese by 2035.

I'm not sure this point supports your argument.

Thefitfatty Thu 12-Jan-17 12:15:22

Well if three out of 4 people are going to be overweight/obese soon, it's going to be awful hard to discriminate against fat people.

SantanaBinLorry Thu 12-Jan-17 12:16:53

What is the AIBU?
If a persons weight, under or over means they may be unable to perform a job efficiently then surely an employer has the right to disregard that candidate for a job application or re-consider a current employee if their work efficiency suffers due to weight issues?
Fatist? Maybe. I know I wouldnt employ someone (in my industry) who was over weight enough to make them out of breath running up and down stairs, or not strong enough to carry stuff due to lack of muscle mass due to being under weight.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 12-Jan-17 12:17:07

Well if three out of 4 people are going to be overweight/obese soon, it's going to be awful hard to discriminate against fat people.

Presto, problem solved. wink

ailPartout Thu 12-Jan-17 12:18:15

Aren't protected characteristics classed as such because the person 'with' them can't or shouldn't alter it. No one can stop being disabled, or gay for example.

Fat people could eat less.

I'm not condoning bullying which, in the workplace at least is illegal, but I'd begrudge making necessary adaptations to accommodate someone who has made themselves fat. I'd do everything I could to make something wheelchair accessible.

NathanBarleyrocks Thu 12-Jan-17 12:21:27

Fat people could eat less

And people with anorexia could eat more.

And alcoholics could stop drinking.

Simple as peas.

Bambamrubblesmum Thu 12-Jan-17 12:23:21

Why would you want to protect something that is life limiting and potentially fatal?

Think it's an insult to disabled people who have no choice in their condition.

Aspiringcatlady Thu 12-Jan-17 12:23:59

Fat people could eat less.

No every overweight person is that way because they eat too much.

NathanBarleyrocks Thu 12-Jan-17 12:26:34

Not every overweight person is that way because they eat too much

Almost all are.

icy121 Thu 12-Jan-17 12:27:27

Anorexics and alcoholics aren't protected groups under Equalities Act either. I wouldn't employ people with those issues either.

Fat people tend to earn less than slimmer people, because people judge them and pick slimmer counterparts for promotions etc. In the same was as tall good looking people do better than short ugly folk. Life isn't fair.

Coralfish Thu 12-Jan-17 12:28:51

I believe that disability for the discrimination act is defined by something like 'significant effect on your life' (can't be bothered to look up the exact wording). So if your weight has that, it is defined as a disability for the purposes of the act. This is a legal fact, and nothing to do with people with any other disabilities.

NathanBarleyrocks Thu 12-Jan-17 12:30:58

A senior manager friend of mine once alluded to something of the lines of not employing very overweight people as they have little self-control & what that says about their personality in general.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 12-Jan-17 12:32:16

I believe that disability for the discrimination act is defined by something like 'significant effect on your life' (can't be bothered to look up the exact wording). So if your weight has that, it is defined as a disability for the purposes of the act. This is a legal fact, and nothing to do with people with any other disabilities.

Assuming this is a legal fact (no idea) - it is subject to obvious practical limitations.

ollieplimsoles Thu 12-Jan-17 12:33:28

This is a very loaded subject at the moment.

I totally get Nathan's comments about people alcoholics could drink less, anorexics could eat more.

Trouble is- morbidly obese models are being celebrated, very over weight bloggers/vloggers are popular, I dont think enough people take obesity, and all the health problems it brings, seriously. Its all about image but its really about health.

Overweight people (myself included) should work on getting their bmi down, got mine down from 33 to 28- over 30 is clinically obese, and I was only a size 12.

Obesity is a condition people need treatment for- not something to be protected for the sake of people's feelings.

Stupid words like 'fattist' don't help this.

ollieplimsoles Thu 12-Jan-17 12:34:53

Think it's an insult to disabled people who have no choice in their condition.

^this

MackerelOfFact Thu 12-Jan-17 12:35:25

Not every overweight person is that way because they eat too much

Which is why it's illegal to discriminate against those with a disability. If you're overweight because you have arthritis, the fact you have arthritis is a protected characteristic and you can't be discriminated against for this.

ink{https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/discrimination/protected-characteristics/disability-discrimination\www.citizensadvice.org.uk/discrimination/protected-characteristics/disability-discriminatio]]n} is a useful link.

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Jan-17 12:36:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 12-Jan-17 12:36:25

I think a lot of people tend to forget that food can be an addiction. Just like cigarettes drugs and alcohol. Which people rightly so have sympathy for. However with food addiction people are mocked called greedy and jeered at. Now unless any of us are perfect. I don't think anyone has the right to mock or discriminate against anyone.
Yes absolutely disabled people have no choice. No one would argue with that. However addiction is not a choice, either.
Also I suppose when someone is extremely over weight and depressed because of the abuse the get from idiots. They probably get to the point where they think. "Oh fuck it what difference is another pizza going to make."
And let's not forget the other side if it. Some people are happy being a size 30. Not everyone who graces the planet yearns to be a size zero.

kaitlinktm Thu 12-Jan-17 12:38:02

OMG, I am short, fat AND ugly - no wonder I never got anywhere in life!

shovetheholly Thu 12-Jan-17 12:39:56

"How exactly are fat people discriminated against?"

I knew a girl who was very large, who sadly passed away very young. She was the funniest, sharpest person. However, people used to say the most awful things to her, on a regular basis. She'd get random strangers coming up to her and hurling abuse, people offering unasked for advice and guidance on public transport, assumptions being made that she was lazy, people cringing away from her or not treating her like she was disgusting or not a full human being. I don't think I would have believed it had I not witnessed it myself. Some people behave appallingly around those who are overweight.

AllTheLight Thu 12-Jan-17 12:40:34

There is evidence to show that tall men are more likely to reach higher positions in the workplace than short men. Should we also add height to the list of protected characteristics?

Of course no one should be discriminated against. But you can see how it could easily become ridiculous!

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