All local government staff will have to speak fluent English by September or face being barred from certain roles, the Government has revealed.
Tighter laws will mean public sector personnel including council employees, social workers and Jobcentre Plus staff will be excluded from customer-facing roles unless they have language skills equivalent to GCSE grade C.
The legislation will be introduced in September as part of the new Immigration Bill, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock has confirmed.
Language requirements could also increase depending on the role and profession, with employers tasked with setting the appropriate standards for each position against a new Code of Practice.
The Cabinet Office said such an approach would create a ‘consistent experience’ for taxpayers, while ‘promoting integration and British values in the United Kingdom’.
Hancock said: ‘We are controlling immigration for the benefit of all hard-working people. That includes making sure that foreign nationals employed in customer-facing public sector roles are able to speak a high standard of English.
‘We have already introduced tough new language requirements for migrants, now we will introduce new legislation in the forthcoming Immigration Bill to deliver the commitment made by the prime minister to go further.’