To which employers does the public-sector English language requirement apply?

The requirement for customer-facing staff in the public sector to speak fluent English applies to "public authorities", as defined in part 7 of the Immigration Act 2016. An employer will be a public authority if it has "functions of a public nature". However, the fluency requirement does not apply to voluntary- or private-sector employers that provide public services on behalf of a public authority.

All public authorities in England are covered by the requirement. Public authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are covered by the requirement only in relation to staff dealing with non-devolved functions. In Wales, the requirement is for staff in customer-facing roles to speak fluent English or Welsh.

The duty does not apply to the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service or GCHQ.