As defined by the British Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which primarily affects reading and writing skills. However, it does not only affect these skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing.”

10% of the UK population are dyslexic and no two dyslexic individuals will experience the same issues and challenges as it can vary in severity. However, dyslexia can be discriminated in the workplace which leads to stress in employees.

How is Dyslexia Covered Under the Disability Discrimination Act?

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against people with protected characteristics and disability falls under the specified protected characteristics. It states that you must not be discriminated against because:

  • You have a disability
  • Someone thinks you have a disability (discrimination by perception)
  • You are connected to someone with a disability (discrimination by association)

What Are Types of Dyslexia Discrimination at Work?

There are 4 types of dyslexia discrimination at work which are protected by the Equality Act. From recruitment to retention, training and development to promotion, pay to dismissal, any type of discrimination is forbidden at any stage of employment.

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination is where an employee is treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic. If dyslexia has an impact on pre abilities and they are dismissed or demoted because of this, it would be classed as direct discrimination and could be deemed unfair at an employment tribunal.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination is where a workplace practice appears to treat all employees equally yet is less fair to those with a protected characteristic. For example, with dyslexia, this could be the requirement for high-level written communication.


Harassment is where unwarranted behaviour that is linked to a protected characteristic created an offensive environment for them. For example, this could be rude comment, offensive jokes about their abilities, or ‘banter’.


Victimisation is where the employee complaining of discrimination or harassment linked to a protected characteristic is treated unfairly. Employers should have a clear Equal Opportunities policy making it clear that such conduct is prohibited and procedures should be followed competently when an employee complains.

What Are Reasonable Adjustments for Dyslexia?

Employers have a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace for those with disabilities, including dyslexia, under the Equality Act. It is vital for employers to understand their legal responsibility and what is considered ‘reasonable’ depends on factors such as size of employer, impact of adjustments, needs of the employee, and the nature of the job.

By first carrying out a workplace assessment, the employer should be able to make a range of adjustments to accommodate dyslexia. Examples include:

  • Other communication methods rather than writing or installing a quality spell checker programme, dyslexia-friendly fonts or using text-to-speech software.
  • Providing instructions verbally rather than written or using screen reading software.
  • Offering a quieter workspace free from distractions to communicate better.

What To Do If My Employer Doesn’t Provide Reasonable Adjustments

Failure to provide reasonable adjustments for dyslexia can be classed as discrimination. If you believe there is a case of discrimination happening at your work, you should complain to your employer. If this doesn’t help, give the employment law experts at Premier Legal a call on 0115 856 1625 and to see if we can help you. Contact us today.