The European Court of Justice today ruled that obesity can, in extreme cases, constitute a disability.

Paul Callaghan, head of employment at international law firm Taylor Wessing, says:

"The European Court of Justice has ruled that obesity itself is not a disability, but that the effects of it can be. As such, workers who suffer from, for example, joint problems, depression, or diabetes – specifically because of their size - will be protected by the European Equal Treatment Framework Directive and cannot be dismissed because of their weight.

"Any employee who has a disability flowing from their obesity will be entitled to insist an employer looks for ways to change their job so that they are not affected by their disability.

"UK law does not need to change."