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In the workplace

Performance reviews and disciplinary hearings

Dyslexic workers can be much more affected by changes in the workplace than other employees. A change of job description, a new way of working, or a new manager with a more rigid management style can mean that existing coping mechanisms are no longer effective.

It can be a vicious circle. The dyslexic employee may find themselves becoming stressed because they're struggling to cope. This stress can make dyslexic difficulties more pronounced, leading to more stress and performance issues.

If an employee has not had a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, but believes that this is at the root of the difficulties, then it is in their best interests to disclose this to their manager. This should then be taken into account during performance reviews or a disciplinary hearing.

The right support

It has been found that where dyslexia is well supported at work and where colleagues and management are sensitive to individual working styles, dyslexic difficulties are likely to be less pronounced and good performance maintained.

Diagnostic Assessment

Through discussion, the employer and employee may decide that the next step should be a formal diagnosis. This will give a better understanding of a person's areas of strength and weakness and help inform any support.

Companies may either fully, or partly, fund a Diagnostic Assessment, dependent on their size and resources.

You can find out more about assessments on the BDA Assessments web page.

Workplace Needs Assessment

A Workplace Needs Assessment (WNA) can be carried out alongside a Diagnostic Assessment, or on its own. The aim of a Workplace Needs Assessment to make sure the changes made are targeted and therefore as effective as possible. An employer should give these changes time to be properly established before further reviewing the situation.

You can find out more about a WNA on the BDA Assessments web page.

More support

If your employer is aware of your dyslexia and you feel that you have been treated unfairly or discriminated against there are organisations such as ACAS who will be able to offer support.

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

ACAS provide free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. They support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. They also provide conciliation to resolve workplace problems.

British Dyslexia Association (BDA)

BDA Helpline: 0333 405 4567

BDA Code of Practice for Employers (2017) is available from the BDA shop.

BDA Webinar: Employment law and dyslexia (YouTube)