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Welsh language standards

With us, you have a right to: documents, signs, leaflets, websites, social media messages, correspondence, and job applications in Welsh.

More information about your rights to use the Welsh language is on the Welsh Language Commissioner's website

Engaging with Welsh language speakers

We understand how important it is that speakers of Welsh have the same access to public services as English-speakers.

That’s why we’re working hard to comply with the Welsh language standards (PDF) set out by the Welsh government, to make sure that Welsh speakers are treated fairly.

We welcome written correspondence in Welsh, and we respond to it in Welsh. Corresponding in Welsh won’t lead to delay. We also welcome phone calls in Welsh and produce Welsh versions of our publications and web pages (including this one).

Read more about what we offer for Welsh language speakers:

How we meet the standards

Read our reports on our compliance with the Welsh language standards:

Welsh language complaints policy

The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 established a legal framework to impose duties on certain organisations to comply with standards in relation to the Welsh language by way of sub-legislation (Welsh Language Regulation Standards).

All information relating to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) implementation of the standards and annual reports can be viewed online at: Welsh Language Standards

With regard to a Welsh language complaint, EHRC will follow the same approach identified throughout this policy. In addition, the investigating officers will consult with any relevant legislation, the standards, Code of Practice and Welsh Language Commissioner's guidance before making a determination. Complaints or concerns regarding the Welsh language will follow the same timeframes and steps already highlighted in this policy.

We will aim to resolve a Welsh language complaint quickly and informally first (stage 1) with the relevant service area and within 10 clear working days. The process on how to make a complaint is covered in the our complaints policy. Stage 1 complaints will be allocated to the appropriate officer dealing with complaints for that particular service, and will be tracked and monitored.

Stage 1 complaint: informal resolution

Where possible, we try to resolve issues immediately. If you have a complaint, raise it with the person you're in contact with and they will try to resolve it for you on the spot.

If the person you are in contact with is unable to resolve the issue the matter may be referred to a senior person within the appropriate service department to provide a response. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the matter may be resolved over the telephone or in writing (including email). Where an issue is resolved by telephone call, you will receive a letter or email as confirmation of the outcome of the conversation.

If there are any lessons to learn from addressing your complaint, appropriate action will be taken where possible to put those lessons learned into practice.

The service department will provide a substantive response to your complaint within 10 clear working days. If the complaint is not resolved to everyone's satisfaction by then it will be escalated to stage 2.

Where your complaint has been referred to the relevant service department and you are dissatisfied with their response, you can then ask for a formal investigation.

Depending on circumstances, EHRC reserves the right to escalate a complaint directly to stage 2 of the complaints policy.

If after 10 days a complaint is not resolved at stage 1, it will be escalated to stage 2.


Stage 2 complaint: formal investigation

Our aim is to resolve complaints quickly and informally wherever possible. However, you can transfer your complaint to stage 2 of the complaints process for the Welsh Language Officer (WLO) to investigate. Here are some examples to which stage 2 may apply:

  • If a service department has had opportunity to address your complaints and has not given you a response as outlined above.
  • If you do not think that your complaint has been considered sufficiently or appropriately.
  • If you have received a response and you are still dissatisfied with the service department’s decision.

If you wish to take your complaint to stage 2, the WLO will ask you for more information to understand what went wrong and your desired outcome to resolve the matter.

When receiving a stage 2 complaint, the details are recorded, and an acknowledgment of receipt is sent by the Complaints Team within 5 clear working days.

In most cases, the Complaints Team will provide a substantive response to your complaint within 20 clear working days. Where this is not possible, you will be told the reason for the delay in writing before the final date to respond, together with the date you can expect to receive a full response.

Sometimes, clarification will be required on the specific issues that the complainant is requesting an investigation into. Under these circumstances, the WLO will write to the complainant with a summary of the issues according to their understanding of the situation, asking the complainant to agree that the issues identified are comprehensive and correct, or to give further explanation.

When action is required in this way, the clear 20 working day timetable will begin when both parties have agreed on the specific issues that will be the subject of the investigation. If a response is not received from the complainant within 28 working days of requesting an explanation, the complaint will be closed.

In line with the 'record keeping' standards, the WLO will log the Welsh language complaint against the relevant category of standards, i.e. service delivery, policy making or operational standards.

All Welsh language complaints received directly by EHRC are reviewed by the WLO and reported in the council's annual Welsh language standards report.

Advice, handy guides and virtual training are available to staff on the intranet. Online training, which will include raising awareness of the policy, forms part of the induction for new starters, and existing staff are advised to undergo refresher training every two years.

We periodically run campaigns on the intranet and through newsletters to raise staff awareness of the procedures and Welsh Language Standards. Support for officers dealing with complaints can be found on the intranet and staff are able to seek further guidance from the WLO. We have all the material necessary for officers to deal with the complaint on a central intranet site.

There may be rare occasions where the requirement to comply with a standard has been postponed via a challenge or appeal. In this scenario the WLO will provide advice.

There are also other organisations that consider complaints, for example, the Welsh Language Commissioner. Should you wish to complain about the lack of services in Welsh or that someone is interfering with your freedom to use Welsh, you can contact the Welsh Language Commissioner by:                 

The Welsh Language Commissioner
Market Chambers
5-7 St Mary Street
CF10 1AT

Contact our Wales office

We welcome being contacted in Welsh or English. If you contact us in Welsh we will respond in Welsh and this will not cause a delay.

Address: Companies House (1st Floor), Crown Way, Cardiff, CF14 3U

Map: Cardiff office Google map

Telephone: 02920 447710

Email: wales@equalityhumanrights.com

Last updated: 09 Oct 2023