It means that an average man will be over the limit after a pint of beer, and an average woman will be limited to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine before getting behind the wheel. It also means that where an individual drives the morning after a heavy night of drinking they are more likely to be over the limit and find themselves liable to a conviction.
From an employment law perspective it is advisable that employees with driving duties are notified of the new limit and that they are warned that if they are found to be over the drink drive limit whilst performing their duties then their employment may be terminated. In the majority of cases where an employee is found to be over the drink drive limit whilst performing driving duties for their employer dismissal is likely to be an appropriate outcome. However, it is of course important that a proper process is followed and that the decision is not predetermined, particularly if the employee has more than two years' service and can therefore claim unfair dismissal.
The question is trickier where an employee is convicted of drink driving in circumstances not directly related their work. For example, if an employee is caught driving over the limit on a Saturday morning following their office Christmas party on the Friday night, could the employer dismiss fairly? The answer is likely to be no, unless the circumstances are such that it has caused the employer reputational damage, or if the conviction is particularly significant in light of the nature of the individual's role. For example, if an employee is employed as a driver and they lose their licence then dismissal will almost certainly be fair assuming there is no alternative employment, that doesn't involve driving, that can be offered to the employee. Where an employee is convicted of a criminal offence, the key factors for the employer to consider can be found in this article - Employment law and criminal conduct outwith the workplace.
What is clear from previous Tribunal decisions is that each situation should be dealt with on a case by case basis.