The government is to introduce legislation to make fluent English a requirement for all public sector staff working in customer-facing roles.
Under plans included in the government's Immigration Bill, public sector organisations must ensure that staff can speak English to at least 'level 2' – equivalent to a C or above at GCSE.
From September, police officers, social workers, teaching staff and assistants as well as Jobcentre Plus workers and local government employees will be required to meet the standard.
Workers in certain professions -- such doctors -- are already required to have a much higher level of English and health regulators already have the power to ask for evidence of workers' English language competence.
The Cabinet Office said the law will be the first time there has been a "co-ordinated approach" to enforcing fluent English across the public sector and claims it will create a "consistent experience" for UK residents while promoting "integration and British values".
Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock said: "We are controlling immigration for the benefit of all hard-working people. That includes making sure that foreign nationals employed in customer-facing public sector roles are able to speak a high standard of English.
"We have already introduced tough new language requirements for migrants, now we will introduce new legislation in the forthcoming Immigration Bill to deliver the commitment made by the Prime Minister to go further."