A Manager wishes to issue the following memo to all staff; It has been decided that, in all disciplinary meetings all communications must be in English. It will not be permitted for anyone to communicate in any other language. This will ensure that everyone present knows what is being discussed. Is there any way in which this can be justified without breaching race discrimination law?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 February 2013
While we are unaware of the background leading you to consider issuing this memo, you are likely to struggle justifying its position, particularly as, we assume, you have employees who are not fluent in English.
A core principle of carrying out a fair disciplinary procedure is for employees to understand the allegations against them and to be given an opportunity to state their case before a decision is reached. Indeed, this is enshrined in the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures. The Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures also confirms that “to accommodate the handling of disciplinary procedures in the workplace employers should pay
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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
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.