El Català a l'empresa

Internal relation in the company and with other interest groups

What does the law say?

Fixed signs and information that must be exhibited in workplaces must be at least in Catalan (Article 36.4 of Act 1/1998 on linguistic policy).

Companies holding a concession from a public service administration in Catalonia or a company that depends on it must use Catalan in internal dealings and in its dealings with the administration (articles 9 and 30 of Act 1/1998 on linguistic policy and Article 50.5 of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia).

Collective bargaining agreements should be written in Catalan and in Spanish, on two separate copies, if no agreement is reached between the parties (article 16 of Act 1/1998 on linguistic policy).

Throughout Spain, it’s prohibited to insert in internal regulations of companies and private documents of any clauses excluding or restricting the use of Catalan language, at least between users of the same language (article 13.1.b of European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages).

In addition, employers should be careful not to discriminate against workers for reasons of language  (articles 4.2.c, 16.2 and 17.1 of Royal Decree 1/1995 of March 24; drafted in accordance with article 4 on Labour Rights and 17 on non-discrimination in labour relations of Law 62/2003 of 30 December on fiscal, administrative and social order measures).

What would a good practice be in this regard?

Besides the legal provisions:

  • Normalising the use of Catalan may be a key factor in socialisation, improving human relations, in promoting a feeling of belonging to the group, and ultimately occupational profitability. Thus, practices such as Catalan classes, learning about Catalonia and its reality, the pairing-up of new workers with Catalan speakers in companies... not only make the company a key factor in the socialisation of workers in Catalan society, they can also be dynamics established by Human Resources to promote bonds between workers, improve human relations and ultimately increase productivity. We should also remember that training activities should be carried out in Catalan or include Catalan language learning sessions for workers that have just arrived.

  • Regarding the former paragraph, it is a good choice to establish specific goals of improvements in the use of Catalan. These goals could be a strategy to generate motivation in the company beyond the language.

  • The company's internal "landscape", which is therefore used by employees, and is where groups interact, may be essential in normalising the use of Catalan, apart from any applicable legal consideration. Thus, signs, notices, oral and written messages, emails, computer software, Intranet and other aspects of professional life within the company should be generated in Catalan.

  • Company induction plans may include references to the presence of Catalan in companies and in Catalan society in general. These references to the language can be particularly relevant in the case of immigrant workers. These references may be included in the induction manual or specific sessions may be given in Catalan language or culture in the initial training.

With regard to computers, the Catalanitzador (Catalanizer) tool makes it possible, in four simple steps, to "Catalanise" the Windows or Apple environment of our computers, all browsers, Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office.