Findings from a new survey reveal that 67% of Britain's adult population has below basic literacy skills.
The basic writing skills survey, undertaken by educational software developer Basic Writing Skills, also discovered that women have higher average literacy levels than men, scoring an average of 15% higher than their male counterparts in the test.
The results support additional statistics from Skills for Life which estimates that 5.2 million adults in the UK are at, or below, the literacy standard expected of an 11 year old.
A further survey by Ernst and Young has revealed that the lack of basic skills in the workplace is costing the UK economy an estimated £10 billion each year in lost contracts and incorrect invoices.
"There has long been a belief that because we speak English, we can write it," said Heather Ker, creator of Better Writing: Better Business. "The teaching of grammar and punctuation has therefore been largely neglected for about 30 years and we are seeing the results of that now.
"Giving employees the chance to master basic writing skills will bring many additional benefits, creating a better working environment, motivating the workforce, improving workplace safety, encouraging employees to be more self-sufficient and, perhaps most importantly, boosting profits!"