Immigration Act 2016: English-language requirement for customer-facing workers in the public sector

Implementation date: 21 November 2016

Section 77 of the Immigration Act 2016 is commenced by the Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No.2 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1037) to introduce a new requirement that workers in the public sector in customer-facing roles speak fluent English, and/or Welsh for public authorities in Wales. The language requirement also applies to agency workers where the public-sector body is the hirer.

The fluency duty applies to public authorities in England and to public authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland exercising functions relating to non-devolved matters.

The Government has published a code of practice that provides further guidance for employers.