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Linguistic Duties in Wales

Over time, an increasing number of organisations will have to adhere to the Welsh language standards. Sometimes, they will fail to use the Welsh language as they should, or will make a decision which has a negative impact on your opportunity to use the language.

If the Welsh Language Commissioner advises an organization that it has failed to comply with a standard in a decision notice, there are various things that she may do to compel it to use the Welsh language, namely:

  • ​prepare an action plan to avoid a situation where the failure continues or is repeated
  • take steps to prevent the continuation or repetition of the failure
  • publicise the failure to comply with a standard or advise the organization that it must do so
  • impose a civil penalty.
The Commissioner may also:
  • make recommendations 
  • give advice to the organisation or any other person
  • seek to enter into a settlement agreement with the organisation 
If an organisation has failed to adhere to enforcement action or a settlement agreement, the Commissioner will take further action against the organization. An application may be made to a county court for an enforcement order or to hold a further investigation.
The Enforcement Policy states how the Commissioner’s enforcement powers are used.


If the Commissioner investigates a complaint that you made and decides that an organisation has failed to comply with a standard, you have the right to appeal.  The Welsh Language Tribunal will consider the Commissioner’s findings. The Tribunal has the power to confirm or to change the Commissioner’s determination.   
You have the right to request that the Welsh Language Tribunal holds a review of the Welsh Language Commissioner’s failure to investigate your complaint.

You also have the right to appeal to the High Court on a point of law arising out of the Tribunal’s decision. You must obtain permission from the Tribunal or the High Court to do so. The High Court may confirm the Tribunal’s decision or set the decision aside.


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