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A pizza delivery man has quit his job at Domino’s over a notice warning staff they must speak in English or face disciplinary action.

 

Stuart Horton, 47, said he had left his job of five years at Domino’s Pizza after the message was written on a staffroom noticeboard at the branch in Blackpool Road, Ashton, Preston.

It read: “All staff whilst you are working at this store you must speak in English.

“This is for ease of communication, safety and due to some complaints from staff at other stores.

“Anybody ignoring this could find disciplinary procedures followed, as it could be seen as a form of workplace bullying/harassment.”

Mr Horton, from Deepdale, Preston, said around 15 people work at the branch, the majority of whom do not speak English as a first language and include Asian, Polish and Hungarian workers.

He said: “The notice was on there for about a week. It was long enough to strike fear among people.

“It shocked me and angered me. I’m aware of the health and safety act and having to speak English doesn’t feature in any law.

“The manager took the staff on in the first place knowing full well their native tongues are from different regions and they are trying to learn English.

“Some of them have a basic grasp of English but it isn’t a problem and there isn’t a communication barrier. Everybody speaks English if talking to customers or answering the phone.

“I don’t feel comfortable in that work environment. I’m not being part of an organisation that adopts this stance.”

The branch, run by manager Jason Hunt, is one of many Domino’s Pizza franchises across Lancashire operated by Topwest Limited.

Mr Horton, who is studying for a community policing and justice management degree, said he had reported the matter to Domino’s head office.

He said he had also contacted the area manager of Topwest, David Woods, who had agreed to meet with him to discuss his concerns.

Mr Horton said: “Domino’s Pizza have been operating in the area for a long time.

“We have a lot of customers of different ethnic backgrounds and staff of different ethnic backgrounds and migrant workers.

“The people of Preston can judge for themselves what they think.”

A spokesman for Domino’s Pizza Group PLC said a common language was “vital” in its stores for safety reasons, but the tone of the poster was “a little strong”.

She said: “To ensure a good flow of communication in our stores, the use of a common language is spoken at work to avoid confusion and to create a more welcoming environment.

“It is also paramount that all safety aspects are adhered to and for this reason a common language is vital.

“The tone of the poster shown is a little strong and we will be picking this up with the franchisee.”

The Evening Post spoke to Mr Woods of Topwest Limited, who said the company accepted the statement from Domino’s Pizza and did not wish to comment further.

EVF News Feed‘s insight:

Quit job for being told to speak English in England, you couldn’t make stuff like this up.

See on www.lep.co.uk

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