It has been reported that obese people could be allowed to start work an hour later than normal, as part of controversial plans.

A UK government advisor is to propose major changes at the European Congress in Vienna.

The proposals mean overweight office workers get special privileges such as, missing the rush-hour commute, demanding an extra chair or working from home.

Professor Stephen Bevan, an influential member of Public Health England’s advisory board, has advised the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about the workplace changes.

As head of human resources research at the Institute for Employment Studies, Bevan will tell 2,000 medics that obesity should be classed as a “protected characteristic” which opens the door for staff to sue fat shaming bosses.

He 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.”

Prof Bevan will present a systematic review of research in to obesity workplace discrimination which includes a major study on “weight stigma” in the NHS.

He added: “Some people say that obesity is the last characteristic that its still socially acceptable to make fun of.

“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, Professor Bevan’s plans have been strongly criticised with fears it could entice hatred rather than provide a solution to the problem.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs, 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?”

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