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​Obese Workers Should Be Allowed To Turn Up Late, Government Advisor Says

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​Obese Workers Should Be Allowed To Turn Up Late, Government Advisor Says

A leading employment specialist has said that obese workers should be allowed to turn up late - as well as be protected under discrimination law.

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The changes could see overweight office workers allowed to miss the busy rush hour commute, as well as demanding an extra large chair or even work from home.

According to the Mirror, UK government advisor Professor Stephen Bevan - who is head of HR research at the Institute for Employment Studies - will propose the changes in front of 2,000 medics at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, following new research that reveals Brits are among the worst for obesity-shaming in Europe.

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As well as being a member of Public Health England's advisory board, he has also advised the Department of Work and Pensions.

Bevan said: "We need to coordinate our efforts so that people who want to work can do so.

"It can be working time, it can be having a bit of understanding that someone might need to turn up at 10am because they have trouble with transport or anxiety about transport.

"Many employers get away with whatever they want."

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A study by the European Assocation for the Study of Obesity found that over half of UK doctors believe overweight patients were lacking in willpower.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But at the congress Bevan will argue that obesity should be classed as a 'protected characteristic', which would mean that workers could be able to sue bosses that don't follow protocol.

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"We have a scheme in the UK called Access to Work which not many employers know about.

"If you are an individual living with a health condition or an impairment you can get support, paid for by the Government to make accommodations.

"It could be transport or it could be working from home."

However, Christopher Snowdon, who is head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs, does not agree with the proposal.

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He said: "This is a ludicrous idea that will only create resentment against obese people if it were implemented.

"Being fat is not a disability and the majority of people get to work by car so it is difficult to see why obese people should be given an extra hour to arrive.

"If obese people are to be given special privileges, should we not also give special privileges to smokers, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers?

"Where does it end?"

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, overweight, UK, obesity

Jess Hardiman
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