The Welsh language pressure group, Dyfodol i’r Iaith, has condemned Lidl UK’s policy of banning staff from speaking languages other than English with each other.
Dyfodol has compared the ban on the use of Welsh as similar to some of the anti-Welsh penal laws of the Middle Ages.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith said:
“We’ve written to the company today to inform them that their policy of banning people in Wales from speaking Welsh is illegal.
“Welsh is an official language in Wales. There is no way that a private company can ban the use of a country’s official language.
“The ban on Welsh reminds me of some of the anti-Welsh penal laws of the middle ages. It cannot be justified in a civilized society.”
“This case clearly shows the need for the Language Law and the powers of the Language Commissioner to extend to the private sector.”
The row began when LidlUK banned staff from Poland from speaking Polish with Polish customers.
Heini Gruffudd said:
“We would also like to express our support for Poles living in Wales. We passionately believe that members of ethnic minorities living in Wales have the right to use their own language with one another.”
Lidl have now lifted this ban on the use of Welsh in their stores.