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Each morning we wake up we put on… no, not our make up… the news!

And have you seen the latest reports on how neurodiverse individuals are being “held back by job interview questions”?

The government have published statistics that show that whilst 53.6% of all disabled people are in work, that number dramatically reduces to just 30% when talking about autistic people.

At the same time, the government have published the outcome of what is described as a “landmark” review by Sir Robert Buckland KC, designed to boost the employment prospects of autistic people in the UK.

The review sets out 19 key recommendations for employers (including the government) and whilst they won’t be appropriate for every employer, these include:

  • signing up for the Autistica Neurodiversity Employers Index to access guidance on designing inclusive processes and procedures (Autistica is an independent charity set up to support those with autism and more information about them and their new data driven Neureodiversity Employers Index can be found here;
  • encouraging career progression by developing packages for training focused on autistic staff;
  • improving recruitment by ensuring career advisers can provide appropriate advice to autistic jobseekers; and
  • supporting autistic people who are already in the workplace by producing “autism design guides” to create appropriate premises, furnishings and equipment.

One area that is said to hold back neurodiverse individuals is the recruitment process and Sir Robert told the BBC that changing interview processes was one way to help identify and support those who may not necessarily have an autism diagnosis but who may well be neurodiverse. We’ve reported on this issue ourselves with Robyn Smith updating you all last year on a case involving these very issues and providing you with some guidance on what you should be doing: CLICK HERE

We’ve also highlighted in the past the contributions and strengths that neurodiverse individuals can bring to the workplace and how to support them generally: CLICK HERE

Our main takeaways from this, really are to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of neurodiversity in the workplace;
  • Talk to staff – open communication is key. No two individuals are the same and what works for one, might not work for another.
  • Make adjustments – those who are neurodiverse may well fall under the protections of the Equality Act 2010 so be mindful of your need to make reasonable adjustments.

And this isn’t just something we’ve harped on about in the past. It’s a really, really important topic and it’s something we’ll be bringing you more on throughout the year, including at one of our free webinars. Keep your eyes peeled for more info…