Lidl: no, they're not banning Welsh

10 November 2014

wales There was a row over the weekend, where it was reported that staff at Lidl were going to be stopped from speaking any language other than English in their UK stores, including Welsh.

The supermarket initially said: "It is Lidl UK company policy that staff speak in English to customers, irrespective of their native language. This is for the benefit of all our customers as well as our staff to ensure a comfortable environment where all feel included."

Of course, this made some people really angry and made some racists shout "QUITE RIGHT!"

Lidl, aware of the pending storm of faeces about to hit them, decided to make things absolutely clear and issued a statement via Facebook. They said:

"To our lovely customers. We apologise for the continued confusion surrounding the use of the Welsh language in our stores. To be completely clear, we have never and will never 'ban' the use of the Welsh language at Lidl. Nor do we prohibit staff from speaking Welsh to each other. Those of you who have visited our Welsh stores will know that we embrace the language, with many of our stores also having Welsh signage. We hope that this helps to resolve any misunderstandings going forward."

They continued: "There has been a lot of misinformation circulating regarding our business language and we would like to clarify Lidl UK’s position on languages in the work place."

"We understand that in certain regions of the UK there are other official languages in use and we welcome the use of these in our stores. We also ask that, if possible, our staff respond to customers in the language in which they are addressed. As an international company we are extremely proud to support such a diverse workforce, and value the contribution of each and every member of staff. We do have a general policy in the UK stating that we carry out our working communication in English, such as when speaking to fellow employees on the shop floor. As a business we have to have this in place to help reduce misunderstandings and encourage the building of good relationships across the business and with customers."

"It is a great asset for our business to have such a multi-lingual workforce, and one that we value and champion. We absolutely aim to empower and encourage any staff members to use their language skills to assist customers. Equally, whilst staff are on their break, they are of course welcome to converse in their language of choice. We only ask that they consider their colleagues who may be sharing rest facilities at the same time."

"In light of recent events we would like to assure our staff, customers and the general public that we do continually review our policies and will be considering all feedback that has been presented to us."

Hands up if you think one of the big supermarkets leaked this story to the press because they're pig-sick of Lidl chipping away at their profits.

TOPICS:   High Street News

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