Tel: +44 (0) 2079890750

Global Recruitment Experts

Access to millions of CV's and
thousands of international jobs

Polish Workers Should Speak English in the Workplace

Sometimes you read things and you think you could not make this up. Non UK workers are guests in our country albeit that they are lawfully exercising their rights to work here under the laws of the European Union so, you can scarcely believe that Polish and Latvian packers have accused bosses of breaching their human rights by ordering them to speak only English when working in an English factory.

This is just common sense as they are managed in English and have to adhere to English Health and Safety rules.
Unipart Logistics brought in the rule to prevent non-Polish speakers among their 120 staff being “marginalised and isolated”.

This is a genuine and valid concern as we have all experienced the situation where you are in conversation with a group of people, could be Welsh or French when they suddenly start speaking in a language that you can’t understand. If you are in Wales or France , then fair enough, their country their language but here we are talking about a UK located warehouse.

If during recruitment the operator has insisted on a certain standard of English then there should be no problem, and the complaint to the reasonable man is completely spurious.

Where employers have used non English speakers to save money (yes, it happens everywhere) then it would be counter-productive to insist on English only and indeed it would exacerbate Health and Safety risks.

They may speak their own languages at break times. But the workers claim it is discrimination.

Frankly, if they don’t like the arrangement they should seek work elsewhere rather than trying to make trumped up charges of discrimination.


Author – Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.