Many adults in the UK struggle with basic literacy, it has been suggested.

According to a study conducted by educational software developer Basic Writing Skills, 67.97 per cent of Britain’s adults have below average literacy skills.

It was also found that women have better literacy levels than men, scoring an average of 15 per cent higher than their male counterparts in tests.

"There has long been a belief that because we speak English, we can write it. The teaching of grammar and punctuation has therefore been largely neglected for about 30 years and we are seeing the results of that now," stated Heather Ker, creator of Basic Writing Skills.

Declining literacy levels among workers can have a "direct effect on the corporate bottom line", she added.

Ms Ker went on to say that spelling or punctuation errors give the impression that the writer and the company they represent are careless.

Recently, Jon Gamble, director for adults and lifelong learning at the Learning and Skills Council and Abigail Stevens, communications manager for UK Online Centres, said that a lack of skills concerning IT can hold workers back and act as a barrier to employment.