We have a multi-lingual workforce. Can we insist that all staff only speak English while at work?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 March 2017
Julie Austin
McDowell Purcell
Issues covered:

Many workplaces are made up of several nationalities some of whom do not speak English as their native tongue. We are often asked by multi-cultural employers if they can introduce a company policy whereby employees are only permitted to speak English while at work.

This issue was dealt with in a Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) decision in January 2017 in the case of A General Operative v A Medical Device Company ADJ-00001835. In this case, a Polish employee claimed that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of race and nationality when she was instructed by her supervisor to speak English when working on a production line with others of a different nationality. The

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 07/03/2017

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Julie Austin
McDowell Purcell

The main content of this article was provided by Julie Austin. Contact telephone number is +353 1 828 0600 or email jaustin@mcdowellpurcell.ie

View all articles by Julie Austin