My query relates to employing non English-speaking staff. What requirements with respect to a contract of employment, company procedures and training are placed on an employer who either: (a) Recruits an employee who only has basic English; or (b) Takes on a work placement who only has basic English?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 8 May 2013
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2012 protect employees from discrimination or less favourable treatment on grounds of their race or nationality, ethnic or social origin. The Equality Tribunal and Labour Court have held that a failure to provide certain documents (for example, health and safety documentation, disciplinary procedures, grievance procedures, the employee’s contract) in a language that the employee understands can amount to discrimination by the employer. It has also been held that employers have a positive duty to ensure all health and safety documentation is explained to non-English speaking employees.

It is unclear from the question whether the person on work placement

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email

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