Dyslexia advice for employers

Are you an employer who doesn’t know how to support an employee with dyslexia?

Around 10% of the population have dyslexia and it may affect their day-to-day work in ways that are not immediately obvious. Many dyslexic adults in the workplace have never been formally identified or assessed.

Sometimes, those who do have a diagnosis may choose to keep it to themselves. Not everyone understands how their dyslexic difficulties can impact on the many different circumstances which may present in the workplace.


The following situations may cause problems for a dyslexic employee:

  • A change of job description requires a greater emphasis on written documentation or report writing. (Promotion may have this effect too.)
  • An introduction of new methods of working or IT systems.
  • A new line manager with a more rigid, bureaucratic, and less sympathetic management style.

Stress can cause dyslexia difficulties to become more obvious and further impact an employee’s work.


How can you help as an employer?

Ensure your workplace is sensitive to different working and learning styles. Allow employees to approach work tasks and procedures in a manner that is easiest for them. If you’re aware an employee has dyslexia discuss how you can assist them, and implement necessary changes to your office environment. If you notice an employee struggling, it’s always worth investigating that there’s no underlying condition affecting their performance.

The British Dyslexia Association has more information on screening and dyslexia tests for adults.

For further information, employers can order the BDA Code of Practice for Employers. Note that failure to implement reasonable adjustments for a disability is a breach of the Equality Act.