What you need to know about the EU obesity ruling

On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that obesity is neither a protected ground of discrimination under EU law nor a disability by itself, without some accompanying impairment. However, if obesity causes physical, mental or psychological problems that hinder a person’s ability to participate in work, it could give rise to a disability. This caused great consternation but, in fact, little has really changed in the law following this decision.

Obesity can fall within the concept of disability

While no general principle of EU law prohibits discrimination on grounds of obesity, it will now fall within the concept of ‘disability’ where, under particular conditions, it hinders the participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers.