The government has issued
final guidance to help employers ensure that their staff in customer-facing
roles speak English to an appropriate standard.
Forming part of the Immigration Act 2016, the code of practice
aims to raise standards so that people accessing public services interact with
staff that speak fluent English.
Employers are expected to comply with this new legal duty
following the code of practice being enforced by regulations under the
Immigration Act 2016.
Employers that follow our employment check standards and
language competency guidance (currently being updated to reflect the
new information) during the appointment of staff, will not be required to do
anything new or different. If you haven't yet reviewed your local HR policies
and practices to ensure you are in line with the statutory requirements, we
would encourage you to do so.
the code of practice on the English language requirement for public sector
Reviewing policies and practices
It might be helpful to
consider the following actions:
review HR policies and practices so they reflect the statutory
language requirements, as well as comply with existing legislation and language
ensure your recruitment and selection processes reflect the
statutory language requirements, and those involved in selection are clear
about their responsibilities to assess language competence
in adverts and job descriptions, make sure that the necessary
standard of English required of the role is clearly stated
in contracts of employment, stipulate the standard of English
that is required for the role
when working with employment agencies, be clear about the
standard of English language required in service level agreements
have an appropriate, visible complaints procedure in the event
of complaints regarding a staff member's language competency from a member of
Further guidance can be found in our employment