Today the Welsh Language Commissioner
announced that she will open an investigation into the Department for Work and
Pensions’ (DWP) Welsh language services. She is investigating following
suspicions that DWP does not provide services to the public through the medium
of Welsh, which is a commitment in its Welsh language scheme.
The Commissioner has received evidence
from several sources that DWP does not use the Welsh language when conducting
meetings and ‘ability to work’ assessments.
Opening the investigation, the Welsh
Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said:
"DWP works with vulnerable people –
people who need to be able to discuss in their first language. My inquiry will
be a way of knowing to which extent the commitments of the language scheme are
implemented as they should, without causing any disadvantage to anyone because
they want to use Welsh when accessing services.”
The Commissioner approved DWP’s Welsh
language scheme in October 2017, and it is this scheme which sets out what
services they should provide to the public through the medium of Welsh. In conducting
the investigation, the Commissioner will consider evidence gathered from
service users, DWP and other interested parties. She will then determine
whether DWP has failed to adhere to its language scheme or not.