• Sweden edition
 
Swedish firms prefer not to hire fat people: study

Swedish firms prefer not to hire fat people: study

Published: 06 Nov 2012 08:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Nov 2012 08:18 GMT+01:00

Overweight jobseekers have a hard time finding work in Sweden, new research shows, with potential employers often ruling out tubby candidates over concerns about their productivity.

The study, carried out by the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), found that obese jobseekers have an 83 percent lower chance of landing a job compared with people of normal weight, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.

Small companies are more likely to reject job candidates who are overweight, older, or have a history of health problems, while larger companies can more easily afford to "take a chance" during the recruitment process, said Uppsala University economics professor Per Johansson, one of the authors of the study.

"We interpret it as if employers believe all people who are overweight are less productive," Johansson told the TT news agency.

Johansson emphasized that choosing not to hire someone because of their weight is not only illegal, but that companies risk missing out on talented workers who happen to be somewhat heavy.

One manager at a small IT firm told TT that he refuses to hire people who are extremely overweight.

"My experience has been that they often can't handle working at the pace I demand of myself and my coworkers," he said.

He added he has nothing personal against people who are overweight and that he is simply concerned about recruiting the wrong person.

"It can be seen as unfair, but hiring the wrong person can be fatal for a small business," the IT manager said.

"My feeling is that really fat people, I mean guys who weigh 120 kilos, often perform worse and often have worse health than skinny people."

Kicki Randmael, who lost 55 kilos after having an operation, said that her obesity cost her the chance to become a deacon within the Church of Sweden, as a bishop explained she wouldn't be accepted to the training course because there was a risk she would suffer knee problems on account of her weight.

"I was totally shocked. I really couldn't believe my ears," Randmael told TT.

She said that, following her operation, she thinks people listen to her in a totally different way.

"It may be that I'm more radiant and occupy a different space now, but when I was overweight I was treated like I was less intelligent," she said.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:57 November 6, 2012 by skogsbo
Fit for purpose, literally.

A small business owner risks a lot with each new employee, why take risk? A bit of fat is fine, but obese, apart from the health risks, it not always very presentable.
10:32 November 6, 2012 by SecondGen
Gee, they'd be better off to do a medical screening if they were concerned about it.

My skinny buddy has had 2 heart attacks as he smoked (actually, he said the ambulance guy asked him if he was on drugs, he said no and the guy said, we'll then you are having a heart attack). Me? I'm on the plump side but I did my first marathon last month (I was so happy to complete it and I admit I walked funny for 2 days due to blisters I got toward the end, but it was great!)
12:28 November 6, 2012 by skogsbo
Well you can have a job for exercising, but your smoking friend can't!

My sambo works for a Swedish multi national she can take 2 hrs out in work time to exercise, healthy body - healthy mind.
12:31 November 7, 2012 by DAVID T
Seems SAS airlines don't care - Can't get past those heffers walking down the aisle
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

712
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com