A requirement of the Immigration Bill currently before Parliament is that all public sector employees in public facing roles will need to be able to speak fluent English or Welsh.
The requirement will apply to all existing employees as well as new recruits to public sector workplaces such as local and central government, the police and the NHS.
HR advisors are already warning about the potential pitfalls of the policy. Employers will need to be careful not to infringe the current race legislation, for example, as well as disability discrimination in the case of an applicant with a speech impediment.
Here are the main areas of HR policy and practice that may be affected by the proposed draft code:
• All customer-facing staff will need to be aware of the new requirements
• Recruitment selection practices will need to refer to the compliance
• Contracts of employment will have to reflect the need for fluency as a specific job requirement
• Recruitment policies should not contravene the Equality Act 2010
• All adverts and job descriptions will need to make clear the requirement for fluency
• Interviewers will need to be briefed adequately so that they understand the fluency requirements
Auxil Ltd are a Gloucester based firm who specialise in offering friendly but professional advice on a host of HR matters. They will be happy to ensure that you have the most up to date information on all HR legislation. They can also review your existing policies and procedures.
Contact Auxil on 03300 884352 for a confidential discussion.