If an employee’s job role is dependent on their holding a qualification and
the employee loses that qualification, what can an employer do? This
situation might arise if, for example, an employee is employed as a
delivery driver and they lose their driving licence. In these
circumstances, it is possible to dismiss an employee. This is called a
“statutory bar” dismissal and arises because an employee cannot continue to
work in their job without contravening a duty or restriction imposed by
statute; put simply, the act of the delivery driver losing their licence
has caused a statutory bar for the employer.
However, in order to act fairly, the employer must take reasonable steps to
allow the employee to remain in the company, and fully and fairly consider
all alternatives to dismissal before reaching the decision to dismiss. For
example, could the employee be transferred to another department? Is
driving a fundamental part of the employee’s role? Can another existing
employee take over the driver duties? For how long is the employee
disqualified from driving? The employer should also check the reason for
the disqualification, ensuring that there are no disability-related reasons
for the disqualification that may require reasonable adjustments under the
Equality Act 2010.
Before reaching any decision, the employer should talk through all possible
options with the employee to see where their skills and experience could be
utilised and give any suggestions serious consideration. If there are no
other feasible alternatives, then the employer may reasonably decide to
terminate the employee’s contract of employment.
This month, Simply-Docs has added a series of letters designed to guide
employers through the process that may lead to a “statutory bar” dismissal.
These documents can be found in the Employment folder.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific