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When staff have reading and writing problems….

A recent case successfully brought before an employment tribunal has demonstrated how employers of domestic and household staff need to be aware of why employees may have some problems with reading and writing.

A woman with dyslexia won a disability discrimination case against her employer after she was wrongly accused of falsifying documents. She had been discriminated against, it was decided, after making mistakes due to her difficulties with reading, writing and telling the time. She was given lesser duties and told to re-train, which she said left her feeling suicidal.

Although the case does not set a legal precedent, the British Dyslexia Association has said it should be a wake-up call for employers.

It estimates that one in 10 people has dyslexia to some degree, although many have not been formally diagnosed.

So what is Dyslexia?

It is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent at school when there is a focus on learning how to read and write.

A person with dyslexia may: read and write very slowly, confuse the order of letters in words, have difficulty taking notes or copying and find it hard to carry out a sequence of directions. However, those with dyslexia often demonstrate skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving.

To assist the person, it is suggested that work adjustments may be made as well as providing aids such as a recording device and giving instructions verbally rather than in writing.



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