The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) asked staff to disclose their waist size as part of the decision making process around returning to work. In a staff circular, seen by The Mirror newspaper, a number of workers at DVLA headquarters in Swansea were asked to state if their measurement was larger than 34 inches for women or 40 inches for men. It’s part of a “points-based” system the DVLA has been using since the turn of the year to decide which staff should be asked to stay at home during the pandemic.
According to The Mirror:
Staff score a point each for risk factors that can lead to worse Covid illness – like having a high Body Mass Index, being from a BAME background, being male, or being pregnant. It is thought those who score four or more points, and cannot work from home, can be put on “paid special leave”.
The DVLA insisted the risk assessment followed Welsh government guidance, was for workers’ safety, and individuals did not need to give out their exact waist measurement. But a union branded the request “demeaning and insulting”, while the local MP claimed it was “ridiculous”. One worker told the Mirror colleagues had asked, “what business is it of theirs?
God this is chilling. Put bluntly, the DVLA is telling some of its staff that they are too fat to come to work. “What’s your BMI (Body Mass Index) this week Dave?” Dave replies, “It’s 29 Mary.” Mary tells him to stay home and get fit. Someone call Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and tell him to recategorize his show as a documentary.
This opens the door to employers insisting that staff make lifestyle changes in order to keep fit, because being a few pounds overweight makes us more susceptible to viruses. Ergo being overweight puts others at risk. It’s absolutely outrageous. It’s disgusting in the extreme, but it’s here. It fits hand in glove with the social crediting system that they are desperate to roll-out.
Imagine a future, where you go to book a holiday, or a table at a restaurant or even a ticket to the cinema and the computer first checks your BMI before accepting the booking. You’re a little overweight for your height and age. The computer says no. Don’t laugh. Don’t scoff. It’s here.