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Lidl UK apologises over Polish language ban

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 13.11.2014 11:30
Lidl UK has apologised and promised to update its guidelines after Polish staff at a Scottish branch of the supermarket were banned from speaking in their mother tongue with other customers.

Photo: wikipedia/mbuck

Ronny Gottschlich, Managing Director of Lidl UK, wrote a letter of apology to the Polish ambassador in London, Witold Sobkow, after the diplomat complained to the company.

“I would like to apologise for any confusion caused and would like to reassure you that we very much value and respect out Polish customers, and hope that any misunderstandings are now corrected,” Gottschlich wrote.

“As a business operating internationally and in the UK, Lidl absolutely respects and embraces all languages and we certainly agree that it is a great asset to us to have such a multilingual workforce.”

Last week, a Lidl spokesman told The Scotsman newspaper that “it is Lidl UK company policy that staff speak in English to customers at all times, irrespective of nationality,” after Polish staff at a branch in Kirkcaldly, Fife, complained after being ordered to speak in English with Polish customers.

However, Gottschlich has now claimed that there is “no ban in place” and that “over the coming weeks we will be updating the wording within our Employee Handbook and issuing store communications to clarify our Language Policy to all staff.”

Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, Poles have become the largest minority in Scotland. (nh)

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