Labour Research April 2016

Law Queries

Dyslexic employees and the Equality Act 2010

Q. Are all dyslexic employees covered by the Equality Act 2010?

A. Dyslexic employees who can demonstrate they are disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010 (EA10) are covered. 

The EA10 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Dyslexia is recognised as a “physical or mental impairment”. 

But in each individual case, an assessment would need to be made as to whether the dyslexia had a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the employee’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

In the recent Employment Tribunal case of Kumulchew v Starbucks (Case no 2301217/2014), Ms Kumulchew, who is dyslexic and has difficulty with reading, spelling and comprehension, established that she is disabled as defined under the EA10 and that her employer had failed to implement reasonable adjustments. 

Around one in 10 people have dyslexia to some degree. Many union members will therefore benefit from union assistance in raising workplace awareness of dyslexia and employer obligations under the EA10, including the public sector equality duty. 

The British Dyslexic Association provides useful information on their website.