Statutory Bar Dismissals
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 legal matter.