Shropshire Council

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The Fluency Duty and complaints

November 2016 saw the introduction of what's referred to as the Fluency Duty, the code of practice on the English language requirements for public sector workers, which falls under Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2016.

The code of practice means that a public authority must operate a complaints procedure so that if a member of the public feels that a public-facing public authority worker has insufficient proficiency in spoken English for the performance of their role they can make a formal complaint to the public authority, which is then investigated, and a response provided.

For the purposes of the Fluency Duty, a legitimate complaint is one about the standard of spoken English of a public sector member of staff in a public-facing role. It will be made by a member of the public, or someone acting on his or her behalf, complaining that the authority hasn't met the Fluency Duty.

A complaint about a public sector member of staffʹs accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality wouldn't be considered a legitimate complaint under the Fluency Duty.

We'll usually handle this type of complaint under our Corporate Complaints and Representations Procedure (unless the complaint predominantly relates to social care). Find out more about how to make a complaint.

You can find out more about the Fluency Duty from the Gov.UK website.