Requiring All Staff to Speak English

Posted in : How do I handle it NI on 24 July 2012
Amanda Magee
Issues covered:

We would like to introduce a policy requiring all staff to speak English during work, but are worried that we could be accused of discrimination. How do I handle it?

Amanda Magee of Tughans writes:

When introducing a policy requiring employees to speak only English in the workplace, there is always a risk that the policy will be seen to be indirectly discriminating against those employees for whom English is not a first language. Whether or not such a policy is indirectly discriminatory, will depend on whether or not you have legitimate business needs for employees to speak in English while at work, which are sufficient to outweigh the discriminatory impact of such a policy on the

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This article is correct at 06/08/2015

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.

Amanda Magee

The main content of this article was provided by Amanda Magee. Contact telephone number is 028 9055 3300 or email

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