The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on … normal day-to-day activities." Dyslexia can affect people to varying degrees and therefore is difficult to define with certainty to what extent a person's dyslexia meets the requirements of the Act. This case is an important illustration that employers should consider making reasonable adjustments in circumstances where the employee may have dyslexia which would be seen to meet the these requirements. A company that is famed for writing customers names incorrectly on their cups perhaps should have been a little more alive to the sensitivity of this issue.
An employment tribunal has deemed Starbucks had victimised Meseret Kumulchew after she inaccurately recorded the water and fridge temperatures as a supervisor at Starbucks in Clapham, south-west London. The tribunal heard that Starbucks accused Kumulchew of falsifying the recordings, reduced her responsibilities and ordered her to retrain. The tribunal found that Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for Kumulchew’s reading difficulties under the 2010 Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Act. It said the company showed little or no understanding of equality issues.