In recent years the number of languages spoken in the UK has dramatically increased – more than 300 languages are now spoken in schools and workplaces. This presents communication challenges for organisations engaging with customers who speak a wide variety of languages. Individuals who have little or no English face barriers in accessing information and services, making appointments and filling in forms.
This results in unequal access to services and stressful situations for customers and also for staff who may struggle to perform their duties to a high standard. In some circumstances, communication breakdown or failure can have severe consequences for individuals and can impact negatively on an organisation’s reputation.