Jobcentre staff should tell overweight clients to go to slimming clinics, according to a new government report. A study has found that firms do not want to employ people who are obese.
In a review, written by Professor Dame Carol Black, there are warnings that obese people, particularly women, are facing discrimination from potential employers, who do not wish to employ them.
The report says that people who are overweight also are more likely to get lower wages than those without weight issues because bosses feel they may lack willpower. According to the study, there are 1,600 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants who have obesity recorded as a disability.
However, the study does not go as far as saying that there is definitely a link between being jobless and being overweight. It may be that there are other connections, given that people who are overweight are more likely to live in areas of deprivation, have poor eduction and mental health issues.
Therefore, it is thought that their lack of employment prospects could be down to multiple factors, which are not just weight related.
However, the study, put together for and published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that the government needs to commission more research as a matter of urgency to determine to wider impact of obesity on the British economy.
According to the research: “There is some evidence of discrimination against obese workers by employers. The labour market consequences appear worse for women (and women are more likely to be severely obese).”
It found that more than half of people agreed with a statement that people were overweight because they did not have enough willpower. It is thought those attitudes may be filtering into the labour market to make it harder for overweight people to find work.