Dyslexia, Starbucks and the Equality Act - our Employment lawyers explain a recent case

A Starbucks employee who had made her employer aware of her dyslexia, but was accused of inaccuracy with numbers has succeeded in her claim for disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.

The Tribunal found that Starbucks had failed with their duties as an employer to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 for Miss Kumulchew’s reading difficulties.

Under the Equality Act, an employer is required to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities. Disability is defined in the Equality Act as; A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on normal day-to-day activities.

The Tribunal found that under stressful conditions, people with dyslexia can be seen to suffer such an impairment. In these circumstances reasonable adjustments should be made to assist employees. Employers should have policies in place regarding equality and diversity to ensure that those with disabilities including employee’s with dyslexia are not treated less favourably or put at a disadvantage.

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