Further dilution of Equality Act? ‘…full and effective participation in professional life’
The European Court of Justice decision on obesity as a potential disability (Dec. 2014) seems sensible: it is not the obesity which defines the disability but the functional effect. This is consistent with the wording of the original EU directive (and the disability provision of the Equality Act [EA] in the UK).
What interests me is the further clarification that ‘normal daily activities’ (EA, 2010) include almost all areas of work. Five years ago work activities were not of themselves considered to be normal daily activities under the Act, then some were; now it seems that simply being unable to carry out ‘full’ work duties constitutes an EA disability. The move from the DDA to the EA took away the need for a defined condition causing the impairment: now even believing you have a protected characteristic (even if you don’t) can constitute an impairment.
Does this mean that anyone who struggles to carry out their ‘full’ duties should be considered to have an EA disability?
Grateful for feedback … and legal opinions.
Relevant wording on the decision re the obese worker “hinders the full and effective participation in professional life on an equal basis with other workers”.