Speak English or you’re fired! Foreign workers banned from speaking their own languag

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navarre
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Foreign workers employed by arts and craft chain Hobbycraft have been told to speak English or face the sack.
Staff at the supplier's distribution warehouse in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, were hauled in for a meeting this week after difficulties arose with different nationalities conversing only in their native tongue.
Staff were told the firm’s policy was they should only use English during work hours and, if caught doing otherwise, they could be disciplined.
Chris Fenlon, people director for Hobbycraft, said: 'Having the ability to speak English is part of the recruitment criteria in our distribution centre, however within the social areas colleagues can speak all languages

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2tThJTZ2s
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Thoughts? Reasonable policy or draconian ban?
0
DanB1991
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#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
It makes sense really.

Most of the customers will be english.

Most of the staff will be english.

Most of the management will be english.

As such it makes it so customers, staffs and management will understand what others are saying. Also if you cannot speak fluently in English how are you going to serve the majority of customers?

It also makes it easier for customer, staff and managers realize when staff are bad-mouthing others. People will switch into another language to offend people who cannot understand it. Also how would a manager realize if a staff member is doing everything by the book if he's talking to a customer in another language?

EDIT: i find the argument for the possibility of prosecution for racial discrimination ridiculous. Being of a certain race does not prevent someone speaking english. People of the same 'race' or 'ethnic' group who are born in different countries may speak completely different languages.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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#3
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#3
I hate it when I'm in a shop and hear their staff talking to each other in another language. I've heard stories of them making fun of customers and getting caught out on the odd occasion they talk in front of someone who can understand their language, and I think not being able to understand what others are saying makes people feel a little uncomfortable.

So therefore, yes, English is easiest and more practical.

However, I'm not sure if I agree with other languages being spoken in social areas, because some of the staff would then be segregated if they didn't understand what was being said.

I feel my view is incredibly old fashioned these days, but I genuinely believe that if you want to work or live in England, you should speak English.

I'd never dream of moving to Spain unable to speak Spanish.
3
Katie_p
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#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
Unless a customer initites speaking to them in their own language, then when on the shop floor they should speak English.
It's quite frankly rude to talk in a non-native language in front of customers, who will have no idea what you are saying.
I'm currently in Germany and I talk to a lot of other students in English, but we will always either ask if an employee somewhere speaks English, or attempt to speak to them in German. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes where people speak Italian to each other, and it's just rude. True, I might not understand if they insulted me, or said something unprofessional, in German, but I will have no idea whether they are doing so if they speak Italian.
Nothing racist about it at all - in my job here, I speak German. If I don't know how to say something, I will say it in English and ask how to say it in German for next time. But it's an academic job, so I'm not speaking to the general public. If I were in a customer-facing role, I would only speak English if a customer initiated it.

Edit: On re-reading I realise as they are working in a warehouse it is unlikely staff will be in contact with customers. However, unless all employees speak one mother tongue, they should speak only English, because a co-worker should, in the same way as a customer, not be unable to understand a conversation.
It's not a case of, "speak English in England", but of "speak English in an English job".
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455409
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#5
Report 8 years ago
#5
Perfectly acceptable imo. It's rude to be stood there speaking a foreign language to each other in a customer service position.
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RibenaRockstar
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#6
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#6
Where I used to work there was a large Indian origin community and sometimes in the crew room there would be whole huge conversations going on in a language I couldn't understand. It was pretty bizarre to be sitting in a town I've lived in my whole life feeling excluded.
2
Clip
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#7
Report 8 years ago
#7
TSR has a similar policy.
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Катя
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#8
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#8
So the only reason for this policy is because English people feel uncomfortable when they don't understand everything that's being said around them? That's a bit silly. What about people who are fluent in 2+ languages? Are we forbidden to speak them, lest the English feel uncomfortable?
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geoking
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#9
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#9
Makes sense. Immigrants should integrate.
3
Sandtrooper
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#10
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#10
If they want to work in a certain country, to be honest, I think they should have the courtesy to learn the language.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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Nathanielle
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#11
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#11
It is basically a case of everyone working in the same language, which is often a preequisite for team building and used on a wider political and diplomatic scale, so not an unknown measure. Some countries with mayn langages and ethnicities, may have even an official langauge, e.g. India, so that people from different parts understand each other.
The only exception might be restaurants, where staff is speaking the same language of the country the meals come from, may be seen as a quality sign by costumers and a marketing strategy by the owner to let the costumers feel like if they were in holidays. (I mean, of course, if ordering the dish, you should be able to do it in the local language.)
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Катя
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#12
Report 8 years ago
#12
(Original post by Edminzodo)
If they want to work in a certain country, to be honest, I think they should have the courtesy to learn the language.

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This isn't an issue of immigrants not knowing English, it's an issue of them using their native tongue instead of English in front of other people (such an offence, apparently).

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AmyAintDead
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#13
Report 8 years ago
#13
I think that this is the right thing to do, as you do need to be aware that all staff are behaving appropriately to customers and other staff, and through not being able to speak the language your staff may be speaking, you can't regulate this.

I mean, I live in Wales and I often find that Welsh speaking staff or even Welsh customers use their language in order to speak inappropriately about someone or something, believing that they're speaking in their own secret code. They're always so surprised when I start speaking Welsh to them and they've realised I know that I've heard them speaking inappropriately.

Sure, people can use their native language at any point outside the workplace, but in the workplace it can be rather unprofessional.
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Barry_IV
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Катя)
So the only reason for this policy is because English people feel uncomfortable when they don't understand everything that's being said around them? That's a bit silly. What about people who are fluent in 2+ languages? Are we forbidden to speak them, lest the English feel uncomfortable?


Nobody should be forbidden to speak their mother tongue language, however they should not bring it with them to work. It is rude and unprofessional.
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Катя
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Barry_IV)
Nobody should be forbidden to speak their mother tongue language, however they should not bring it with them to work. It is rude and unprofessional.
Like I said above, what about people who are fluent in 2+ languages? Should they never speak them in the workplace, lest the monolingual English feel excluded?
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El Salvador
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#16
Report 8 years ago
#16
Yes. It's a job requirement. But they need to state it explicitly before they hire anyone.
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Barry_IV
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Катя)
Like I said above, what about people who are fluent in 2+ languages? Should they never speak them in the workplace, lest the monolingual English feel excluded?

Absolutely, they should not be allowed to speak it in the workplace.
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El Salvador
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Катя)
So the only reason for this policy is because English people feel uncomfortable when they don't understand everything that's being said around them? That's a bit silly. What about people who are fluent in 2+ languages? Are we forbidden to speak them, lest the English feel uncomfortable?
I think it's mostly due to feeling that you're not respected or that they may be talking about you.
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No Man
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#19
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#19
I don't see the problem.
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Катя
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#20
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#20
(Original post by clh_hilary)
I think it's mostly due to feeling that you're not respected or that they may be talking about you.
So we're basically pandering to the feelings of paranoid English people here?

I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. If my colleague is French, then yes, sometimes I will speak to them in French, because some things are just said better in French. Likewise, if my colleague is Ukrainian, then yes, I will speak to them in Ukrainian sometimes. Just because it's easier for both of us, and it will be faster to communicate that way.

Following that logic, I should only speak foreign languages in my home, because the English people I pass in the street might be scared I'm talking about them.
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