Sydney, Nov 18 (UNI) Shed those extra pounds before you even think of finding a job in Australia as a survey shows that obese people are denied jobs fearing poor performance.
It's true that more than one in three Australians are reluctant to hire an obese person, according to a national survey conducted by country's leading human resources firm.
The survey conducted by firm 'Talent2' and involving nearly 2000 respondents, found employers are worried about how a clinically obese person would perform in the job.
The study, which anonymously took in employees from all levels of the corporate ladder and across all industries, showed that 36 per cent were concerned about how the excess weight would have an impact on workplace productivity.
But 44 per cent would not be hesitant to employ an obese person.
Nearly half of all participants believed overweight people took a higher number of sick days, and almost 40 per cent said fat employees didn't present well at high-level client meetings.
Talent2 director John Banks admits that the survey's findings didn't surprise him.
''Presentation in work and certain industries is a major influence in making hiring decisions and is necessarily a part of the culture and image of a business,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted Mr Banks as saying.
''There is a perception that people that don't look after their presentation have a number of potential issues that could be brought to work, and that may have an impact on hiring.'' he added.
Policing of the issue is difficult, as anti-discrimination laws fail to specify it is an offence to discriminate against someone based on their physical appearance.
According to the World Health Organisation, the clinical definition of obesity applies to those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
New statistics released last week confirmed that Australia is the fifth-fattest nation in the world, with almost one in four adults classed as obese.
Interestingly, more than 49 per cent of those aged 55 and over were hesitant to hire a fat person, compared to 23 per cent of the young generation.