Businesses call for swearing ban in UK workplace

Having a bad day or stressed out after dealing with an awkward colleague or customer? Now you might have to think again before expressing your anger in the traditional four-letter outburst.

Two business groups have thrown their weight behind a new drive to ban swearing in the workplace.

Both the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have said that crude language and four-letter words should be banned because they might cause offence to other employees.

Many workers find expletives intimidating, while some do not speak out for fear of appearing ‘soft’, according to the IoD. Spokesman Richard Taylor said swearing in wider society was getting worse and that was filtering through to the workplace.

“Employers should encourage people to communicate in the workplace without swearing. It is a place where it can be contained so standards should be applied,” he said.

As to how any ban would be enforced, Taylor was less clear. “It’s up to individual managers to assess what would be best in each workplace,” he said.

If the prospect of boisterous builders toning down their language and contributing 50 pence to the swearbox every time they utter an expletive seems a way off, there is a warning behind the message.

The FSB said that managers who swore at employees could face legal action.


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