Is it permissible for an employer to state in a job advert that applicants must hold a full driving licence?
Provided that driving is an essential part of the job being advertised, there should be no problem for an employer in stating in a job advert that applicants must hold a full driving licence. However, such a provision will discriminate against people with certain disabilities, for example epilepsy, that mean that they cannot hold a driving licence. Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on all employers to make "reasonable adjustments" to any provision, criterion or practice that places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled.
An employer that is considering imposing a requirement that job applicants must hold a driving licence should, therefore, consider first whether or not it is necessary for the job-holder to drive. If it is not necessary, for example if the job-holder could adequately perform the key duties of the job without driving, then the provision should not be included in the job advert. Even if driving is considered necessary for the job, if a disabled person who does not hold a driving licence, but who is otherwise suitable for the job, applies for it, the employer should at that point consider whether or not it would be reasonable for it to waive the requirement for a driving licence. It might be possible, for example, to arrange for the employee to travel on business by some other means or to transfer the driving duties to another employee. If an otherwise suitable job applicant is rejected for the job because he or she cannot drive, and if such alternative arrangements would have been reasonably practicable, then the rejected applicant would be able to succeed in a claim of disability discrimination.