Employer bans all languages except English

Workers at a South Auckland lab could be fired for breaking the rule
By
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/23/2004

A New Zealand employer has banned its workers from speaking anything but English.

Workers at a laboratory in South Auckland have been warned they could be fired if they speak any other language at work, according to a report on

Xtra

, a New Zealand-based website.

Bevan Singham, a spokesman for the New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission, said the laboratory’s move is not that unusual and reflects the changing nature of New Zealand’s population.

Singham said if a workplace is a high-risk area, it makes sense that only one language is spoken for safety reasons. But employers need to be careful to ensure they aren’t breaking any law with such a language policy.

He said the commission hasn’t received a complaint about this case, but may contact the business in question to clarify the policy and to ensure it doesn’t break any laws.

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