5 April 2013
In Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing Ltd, Mr Walker weighed over 21 stone and suffered from a wide range of symptoms, many of which were exacerbated by obesity.
The Tribunal held that Mr Walker was not ‘disabled’ because there was no physical or mental cause, other than obesity. However the EAT said that the Act does not require a focus upon the cause of that impairment. The Tribunal must concentrate on whether he has a physical or mental impairment, regardless of the cause. Plainly in this case Mr Walker did.
Obesity is not a disability it its own right, but evidentially, it may make it more likely that someone is disabled. Issues of weight and disability are likely to come up more and more, and this remains an area which employers will need to tread carefully.