A new report has highlighted mental health as an increasing concern for the North-sea energy sector’s workforce.
It goes without saying that if you work offshore, you work in a physically demanding and hazardous environment. So when the European Court of Justice rules that obesity can constitute a disability, then of course safety must come into the discussion. Before we get into things, we must remember that the EU’s judgement states that obesity is only classed as a disability in certain circumstances, not in every circumstance. It’s only a disability if the person has a long-term impairment that has been induced by their weight.
A ruling that obesity can be classed as a disability will cause “confusion” and may open a “can of worms”, it was claimed yesterday. Politicians and business chiefs were divided over the consequences of the European Court of Justice judgment on the case of 25-stone Danish child-minder Karsten Kaltoft. Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South and chairwoman of Westminster’s work and pensions committee, said: “It’s difficult to tell what the impact will be.
Yesterday, the European Court of Justice issued its judgement in the case of Karsten Kaltoft, a 5ft 7in child minder from Denmark who, in his 15 years in that role, has never weighed less than 25 stone. Mr Kaltoft's employment was terminated, and he felt that it was on the grounds of his obesity. The European Court of Justice was asked to rule on two key questions: First, is it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds that they are obese? Second, can obesity amount to a disability, which it is unlawful to discriminate against?