In some circumstances, employers can require employees and potential employees to meet the physical requirements of a job.

However, physical requirements can amount to unlawful discrimination in some circumstances. Discrimination could be against the law if it is linked to a protected attribute, such as a person’s race, age, sex or disability, and the requirement is not reasonable.

Example: An employer imposes a rule that all security guards be taller than 180 cm, even though a guard’s height does not impact their ability to do the job. This could be sex and racial discrimination because females and people of particular racial backgrounds may be less able to meet the physical requirements.

It may not be against the law to refuse to employ a person because of their physical capability if the person cannot perform the inherent requirements of the job.

Example: It would be an inherent requirement of the job of bicycle courier that a person be physically fit enough to ride bicycles to deliver packages for a certain number of hours each day.