It's really important to recognise that many dyslexic people develop coping strategies which can 'hide' their difficulties, these may only become apparent when a job significantly changes, or an employee is placed under stress.

An employer has a legal duty under The Equality Act 2010 to make appropriate reasonable adjustments to reduce the impact that a disability has on a person's ability to perform effectively in their role.

Whilst this may sound daunting, sometimes only small changes are needed to have a big impact on someone's ability to do their job.

So here's what you need to know…

  • The Equality Act 2010

    The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as:

    "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities".
    Substantial is defined as 'more than trivial'.

    Therefore, as dyslexia is a lifelong condition and has a significant impact on a person's day to day life, it meets the criteria of a disability and is covered by The Equality Act 2010.Read more about The Equality Act 2010An employer must not refuse to employ someone simply because they have a disability. They also have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace. This duty begins with the recruitment process, so recruitment and selection processes must be dyslexia friendly to be lawful.

  • Employee Discrimination

    Employers must not discriminate against a disabled person in:

    • The recruitment and retention of employees.

    • Promotion and transfers.

    • Training and development.

    • The dismissal process.

    In addition, we also have case law in relation to dyslexia and employment. This shows that employers need to:

    • Ensure that managers and colleagues of dyslexic people are aware of the condition and reasonable adjustments that need to be made.

    • Ensure that dyslexic people are not directly or indirectly bullied as a consequence of their dyslexia.

  • Reasonable adjustments

    Gov.uk: Reasonable adjustments for disabled workersDyslexia is covered by the Equality Act 2010, so employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for dyslexic staff members in the workplace.

  • Webinar: Employment Law and Dyslexia

    Margaret Malpas MBE presents this webinar on employment law and dyslexia (October 2017)

    There is increasing interest from HR managers about neurodiversity (ND). There are two significant publications coming out in early Autumn. The first is the WAC Government Commission findings on Recruitment and Dyslexia. The second is CIPD is work to produce an ND Toolkit.

  • More information

    British Dyslexia Association Web ShopYou can purchase the publication: Dyslexia in the Workplace from the BDA web shop.
    The BDA Helpline can give advice and support for employers and employees. Tel: 0333 405 4567.
    Equality and Human Rights CommissionAn excellent resource with helpful guides on how to comply with equality law and implement good practice in all aspects of employment including recruitment, pay, working hours, managing staff and developing policies.
    Gov.ukGovernment site outlining the legal responsibilities of employers.
    ACASHelp and advice for employers and employees. ACAS provide information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems.
    HING Hidden Impairment National Group: EmployersHING is a collaboration of a number of UK organisations and charities representing adults with neurodiversity. The organisations are keen to provide information and guidance to both employers and employees to maximise talents and increase successful engagement in the workplace of adults with a range of neurodiverse profiles. 
    Business Disability ForumBDF provide pragmatic support by sharing expertise, giving advice, providing training and facilitating networking opportunities. This helps organisations become fully accessible to disabled customers and employees.
    Information on Public Sector Equality Duty