UNISON has made its contribution to the Cabinet Office consultation on language requirements for the public sector workers’ code of practice, which is part of the Immigration Bill 2015.
The union believes that the introduction of a fluency duty in English and Welsh is part of a broad agenda of politically-driven immigration control.
While effective communication and community cohesion are important aims for public services, the new fluency duty is unnecessary and dangerous, and has the potential to increase discrimination against workers perceived as not being British, the union says.
This will also have an impact on groups beyond which the consultation document outlines might be covered. This could lead to breach of the equality duty of public service bodies.