English Language in the Workplace - Is it OK to Insist that Staff Speak only English in the Workplace?

Posted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 1 June 2023
Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors
Issues covered: Indirect and direct discrimination; English language

Christine:  So, English language. As I said at the start, Northern Ireland is a much more diverse place than it was back in 1998 when Legal-Island was set up. So, we are dealing with different cultures, different backgrounds, and different languages in the workplace. Is it appropriate to ask employees to all speak English in work? Should it be done, or are there pitfalls there?

Seamus:  Well, I think it very much depends. The first point is that there is protection for employees under the discrimination order here in Northern Ireland. So, there is protection for employees. And I think the likelihood is that if you say to an employee who English is not their first language,

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This article is correct at 01/06/2023

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

The main content of this article was provided by Seamus McGranaghan. Contact telephone number is 028 9032 1000 or email seamus.mcgranaghan@oreillystewart.com

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