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/ 22 Dec 2015

Public sector workers’ requirement to be proficient in English

From September onwards, it will be a legal requirement for every public sector worker whose role entails facing the public to speak fluent English.

The minimum standard expected of staff is to have at least a C grade or above at GCSE level. This requirement will increase depending on the nature of the role and profession.

The aim is to:
• ensure better communication with the public;
• create a consistent experience for taxpayers;
• promoting integration and British values in the United Kingdom
Such requirements already apply to some health regulators who are obliged to request evidence of competence in the English language from prospective applicants training in the European Union. For example, Doctors are already required to have a higher proficiency of the English language.

Organisations including the NHS, armed forces, police force, and state-funded schools will all be bound by the legislation and the new code of practice, which will apply to both existing and new employees working in public-facing roles.

Rashmi Chopra
7 August 2015

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