A Danish childminder sacked for being ‘too fat’ wins landmark case

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The European Court of Justice today ruled that if obesity could hinder "full and effective participation" at work then it could count as a disability.

The case was brought before judges by childminder Karsten Kaltoft who was dismissed from his nannying position four years ago. Kaltoft took his case to the local discrimination court claiming that he was sacked after fifteen years of employment for being ‘too fat’ and when the case was not resolved, the Danish courts asked the European Court of Justice to clarify whether obesity was a disability.

Judges at the highest court in Europe ruled that obesity itself was not a disability but if a person had a long term impairment because of their weight they could be protected by disability legislation.

Kaltoft who weighs twenty-five stone commented: “I don't see myself as disabled. It's not OK just to fire a person because they're fat, if they're doing their job properly."

The new ruling affects laws across all EU states including the UK.