Work language policies question

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deadduck
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Work language policies question

Post by deadduck »

My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

Never heard of it - that's really odd
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Farva
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Farva »

Sounds illegal to me, although I dont know what the labour laws on the Vandean Coast are like, so it might not be.
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kiwigreg369
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by kiwigreg369 »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
Where are you?

I ran a very multi cultural group - everyone spoke 2 or more languages except 1 person.

All work communication was in English (and if working with a customer in another language you converted to English if need help from others).

But all other comma were in whatever language people wanted…
That sounds a bit weird
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guy smiley
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
Interesting move... Aotearoa NZ officially recognises two languages. That would seem to be illegal to me, a layman with no legal training.
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guy smiley
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/5314/2371/0 ... ace_1_.pdf
Under the Human Rights Act 1993 it is against
the law for an employer to treat an employee less
favourably than other employees because of their
race or their ethnic or national origins. Given that
a person’s fi rst language is almost always related
to their ethnicity or national origins, an employer’s
decision to stop them from using that language
might amount to unlawful discrimination.
However, the Act also sets out a range of specific
circumstances where discrimination is not unlawful.
These are known as exceptions. An exception
allows a practice to happen that would normally
be discriminatory under the Act, if there is a good
reason for it.
There may be a number of valid reasons why an
employer would require a single language to be
used in the workplace, or to be used at certain
times or for certain types of communication, for
instance if there are specific health and safety
issues. If the employer can provide a sound reason
for the policy then it is unlikely that requiring
employees to use the same language would be
unlawful.
It would be difficult to justify a total ‘English only‘
policy if the sole purpose for the policy
was to promote workplace harmony
or because it was part of ‘company
culture’. Preventing employees from
using languages other than English
during staff work breaks would be
hard to justify.
TheMantis96
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by TheMantis96 »

guy smiley wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:02 am
Interesting move... Aotearoa NZ officially recognises two languages. That would seem to be illegal to me, a layman with no legal training.
Where? I am well aware of a country called New Zealand. The other place doesn't seem to officially exist.
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DOB
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by DOB »

That sounds like the kind of thing a company owner in Texas would get sued (and lose) over, and come out o' the courthouse sayin' he can't see what he done wrong.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

TheMantis96 wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:05 am
guy smiley wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:02 am
Interesting move... Aotearoa NZ officially recognises two languages. That would seem to be illegal to me, a layman with no legal training.
Where? I am well aware of a country called New Zealand. The other place doesn't seem to officially exist.
Then you have no need to concern yourself with it.
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deadduck
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by deadduck »

DOB wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:07 am That sounds like the kind of thing a company owner in Texas would get sued (and lose) over, and come out o' the courthouse sayin' he can't see what he done wrong.
That's exactly why I raised the objection (and was quietly told to stop stirring things up).
The legal backing in NZ for this kind of thing is a bit wishy washy, but why take the risk at all and open yourself up to this kind of perception.
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shanky
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by shanky »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:17 am
DOB wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:07 am That sounds like the kind of thing a company owner in Texas would get sued (and lose) over, and come out o' the courthouse sayin' he can't see what he done wrong.
That's exactly why I raised the objection (and was quietly told to stop stirring things up).
The legal backing in NZ for this kind of thing is a bit wishy washy, but why take the risk at all and open yourself up to this kind of perception.
Does Tuivasa know about this racist outrage?
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DOB
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by DOB »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:17 am
DOB wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:07 am That sounds like the kind of thing a company owner in Texas would get sued (and lose) over, and come out o' the courthouse sayin' he can't see what he done wrong.
That's exactly why I raised the objection (and was quietly told to stop stirring things up).
The legal backing in NZ for this kind of thing is a bit wishy washy, but why take the risk at all and open yourself up to this kind of perception.
Is it even an issue? We have a relatively monocultural office where I work, but the handful of non-native English speakers would pretty frequently speak among themselves in their own language. I have occasionally answered personal phone calls in Irish. Nobody ever seems particularly worried by it.

Any previous job I've had where someone would think of such a rule, was the sort of place where the minority workers might be digruntled about their conditions, and the management might think they were talking about that.
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Jeff the Bear
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Jeff the Bear »

That sounds dodgier than a 3 dollar note. I can't believe that would stand up in any court in NZ.
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True Blue
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by True Blue »

I'm almost certain that's not legal, in the break room at least.

You'd have to prove that it is a safety risk which in the breakroom would be comical to say the least. Maybe someone got Earl Gray instead of English Breakfast and died from it.
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mr bungle
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by mr bungle »

Farva wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:58 am Sounds illegal to me, although I dont know what the labour laws on the Vandean Coast are like, so it might not be.
:lol:
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Fat Old Git
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Fat Old Git »

Sounds illegal, immoral, and just plain bizarre to me.

Are you still with the same company you were at last time me had beers?
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deadduck
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by deadduck »

Yep same one although there is a new manager for a new team which is where the complaint was made which sparked the policy change.

We have had Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Filipino speakers currently and in the past. Apparently Hindi was just too much for someone.
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Farva
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Farva »

Be maliciously compliant.

Learn Old English and use that.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Fat Old Git »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:22 am Yep same one although there is a new manager for a new team which is where the complaint was made which sparked the policy change.

We have had Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Filipino speakers currently and in the past. Apparently Hindi was just too much for someone.
Sounds like everyone else should put in a complaint as well. I'm pretty sure the company is breaking the law if they are trying to enforce English for anything beyond official job related communication. Even then they might be on dodgy ground given it's not our only official language.

I'm sure the international head office might have concerns given the amount of litigation that happens where they are located.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Thomas »

What sort of cunt complains that people are talking in another language in their workplace? I mean, apart from racist cunts, that is.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Thomas »

Fat Old Git wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:02 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:22 am Yep same one although there is a new manager for a new team which is where the complaint was made which sparked the policy change.

We have had Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Filipino speakers currently and in the past. Apparently Hindi was just too much for someone.
Sounds like everyone else should put in a complaint as well. I'm pretty sure the company is breaking the law if they are trying to enforce English for anything beyond official job related communication. Even then they might be on dodgy ground given it's not our only official language.

I'm sure the international head office might have concerns given the amount of litigation that happens where they are located.
Sounds like a great way for the company to find themselves at the end of some unwanted media attention.

"Next, we talk to the manager enforcing an English only policy in the workplace..."
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Dozy »

deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
That sounds gammon as hell. This is Australia is it?
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:42 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
That sounds gammon as hell. This is Australia is it?
We really do all look the same to you, don't we D'oh Xi.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Fat Old Git »

Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:33 am
Fat Old Git wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:02 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:22 am Yep same one although there is a new manager for a new team which is where the complaint was made which sparked the policy change.

We have had Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Filipino speakers currently and in the past. Apparently Hindi was just too much for someone.
Sounds like everyone else should put in a complaint as well. I'm pretty sure the company is breaking the law if they are trying to enforce English for anything beyond official job related communication. Even then they might be on dodgy ground given it's not our only official language.

I'm sure the international head office might have concerns given the amount of litigation that happens where they are located.
Sounds like a great way for the company to find themselves at the end of some unwanted media attention.

"Next, we talk to the manager enforcing an English only policy in the workplace..."
Indeed. In the meantime someone should put bolleywood tunes on the sound system whenever they are in the tea room.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Dozy »

guy smiley wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:44 am
Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:42 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
That sounds gammon as hell. This is Australia is it?
We really do all look the same to you, don't we D'oh Xi.
No NZ is the place that doesn’t screw over the natives. Mainly because they’d beat the shite out if you. 👍🏻
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Thomas
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Thomas »

Fat Old Git wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:45 am
Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:33 am
Fat Old Git wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:02 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:22 am Yep same one although there is a new manager for a new team which is where the complaint was made which sparked the policy change.

We have had Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Filipino speakers currently and in the past. Apparently Hindi was just too much for someone.
Sounds like everyone else should put in a complaint as well. I'm pretty sure the company is breaking the law if they are trying to enforce English for anything beyond official job related communication. Even then they might be on dodgy ground given it's not our only official language.

I'm sure the international head office might have concerns given the amount of litigation that happens where they are located.
Sounds like a great way for the company to find themselves at the end of some unwanted media attention.

"Next, we talk to the manager enforcing an English only policy in the workplace..."
Indeed. In the meantime someone should put bolleywood tunes on the sound system whenever they are in the tea room.
I would make it my mission to find the person who complained and mercilessly hound them. I'd even learn some rudimentary Hindi.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by shanky »

Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:53 am
guy smiley wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:44 am
Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:42 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
That sounds gammon as hell. This is Australia is it?
We really do all look the same to you, don't we D'oh Xi.
No NZ is the place that doesn’t screw over the natives. Mainly because they’d beat the shite out if you. 👍🏻
The 'natives', you say?

Sounds gammony
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Thomas »

What kind of cunt uses the word "natives"? :uhoh:
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Dozy »

Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:11 am What kind of cunt uses the word "natives"? :uhoh:
Native of the land. The people who are really from the place, before the colonial thieves turned up.

It’s warm and complementary in this instance
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Fat Old Git »

A quick Google gave me this.
The right to use one’s own language is an internationally recognised human right, which is mentioned in a range of human rights treaties and declarations.

Under the Human Rights Act, it is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee less favourably because of their ethnicity or national origin. Someone’s first language is usually related to their ethnicity so if an employer tries to stop someone from using their first language, that may be discrimination.

However, English is the most widely used language in New Zealand and people have very different responses to the use of languages other than English in the workplace. It would be hard for an employer to justify a total “English only” policy when the reason for that was to create “workplace harmony” or because it was part of “company culture”. But the policy could be appropriate if an employer has a valid reason for it – health and safety reasons would be the most likely. However, employees should have the freedom to speak other languages during breaks, or before or after work.

The Commission has published an information sheet on this issue called ‘English language only’ policies in the workplace'.
https://www.hrc.co.nz/enquiries-and-com ... e%E2%80%9D.
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shanky
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by shanky »

Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:12 am
Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:11 am What kind of cunt uses the word "natives"? :uhoh:
Native of the land. The people who are really from the place, before the colonial thieves turned up.

It’s warm and complementary in this instance
Except that's not what you meant...
Was it, Katie..
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Dark »

guy smiley wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:02 am
deadduck wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:52 am My management just introduced an "English only" policy at work, including in the break room

This seems pretty dodgy to me, especially for a company which espouses values of diversity and inclusion and a positive work culture.

Is this kind of policy common?
Interesting move... Aotearoa NZ officially recognises two languages. That would seem to be illegal to me, a layman with no legal training.
3 actually, but I am being pedantic. Not that many people relative to population know NZ sign.
Last edited by Dark on Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

In which D'oh Xi inadvertently shoots his own foot right out of his mouth.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Dozy »

shanky wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:14 am
Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:12 am
Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:11 am What kind of cunt uses the word "natives"? :uhoh:
Native of the land. The people who are really from the place, before the colonial thieves turned up.

It’s warm and complementary in this instance
Except that's not what you meant...
Was it, Katie..
Think you will find it has been used in the same context before here. Mainly at the Aussies who are a proper bunch of cnuts towards the people of the land
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by shanky »

Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:19 am
shanky wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:14 am
Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:12 am
Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:11 am What kind of cunt uses the word "natives"? :uhoh:
Native of the land. The people who are really from the place, before the colonial thieves turned up.

It’s warm and complementary in this instance
Except that's not what you meant...
Was it, Katie..
Think you will find it has been used in the same context before here. Mainly at the Aussies who are a proper bunch of cnuts towards the people of the land
Do you ever get tired of looking stupid?
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guy smiley
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by guy smiley »

Dozy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:19 am Image
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Kiwias
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Kiwias »

Thomas wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:32 am What sort of cunt complains that people are talking in another language in their workplace? I mean, apart from racist cunts, that is.
Pretty much my take on it. I'd be tempted to chatter away in Japanese just to piss them off.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Gwenno »

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wale ... t-14192186
Countless stories in Wales of this sort of thing. Usually businesses bought by people from outside Wales. There’s stories of pubs in Ceredigion where the new owners ejected customers for speaking Welsh. More in the 70s and 80s than now though.
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by bimboman »

Language apartheid “bad”

Medical apartheid “good”.


:lol:
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Leinster in London
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Re: Work language policies question

Post by Leinster in London »

Gwenno wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:03 am https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wale ... t-14192186
Countless stories in Wales of this sort of thing. Usually businesses bought by people from outside Wales. There’s stories of pubs in Ceredigion where the new owners ejected customers for speaking Welsh. More in the 70s and 80s than now though.
Some stories in the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland too.
The companies that try to impose a rule do not come well out of it. Practically guaranteed to get national coverage which will be negative. They go into these areas because they pick up grants, some of who's aims are to maintain an irish speaking population within the area.
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