Analysis and Comment
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether interpreters which hold (a) Level 1 foundation in public service interpreting, a two-to-four-week course, (b) Level 2 public service interpreting qualifications, (c) Level 3 and Level 4 community service interpreting qualifications, A-level standard, (d) a bachelor’s degree in philology but no public service interpreting qualifications and (e) a bachelor’s degree in linguistics but no public service interpreting qualifications are accepted on his Department's list of interpreters.
The Home Office's piecemeal and ineffective approach to foreign language interpreting and translation means immigration and border staff having to muddle through potentially life-changing interviews with non-English speakers by relying on inappropriate interpreters, Google Translate or attempts "to scrape by in English", say watchdogs.
A 2012 report based on FOIs found that NHS trusts (that responded) spent £23.3m on translation services in 2010/11. We don’t have recent or complete figures for how much the NHS has spent on translators because no one collects that information. We can’t find a reliable source for the 128 languages figure.
This case is a reminder that a whistleblowing claim will fail where the worker has made a disclosure purely in their own self-interest – a protected disclosure must also have wider implications, affecting other people, and be regarded as in the public interest, for the worker to be protected as a 'whistleblower'.
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