Discrimination claims relating to neurodiversity jump by a third

Neurodiversity discrimination is on the rise with tribunal claims growing by a third. Neurodiversity refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, and other functions, with conditions like ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism all on the neurodiversity spectrum.

One in 7 people are classed as neurodivergent, and yet the number of discrimination cases relating to neurodiversity in the workplace is rising.

A recent study shows a 40% rise in employment tribunals relating to autism, a 31% rise in Asperger’s cases and a 14% rise in dyslexia claims in the past year alone.

Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR, explains how employers can avoid discrimination, and instead embrace neurodiversity in the workplace.

“It is important that employers understand the laws surrounding neurodivergent people in the workplace. Although many do not regard themselves as disabled, the law provides them with the same level of protection against discrimination as people with physical disabilities.

“Non-visible disabilities should be addressed by employers in the same way as visible ones; employees should be supported, and reasonable adjustments made. To ignore this could result in unlimited fines.

“Recent studies have found that inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in innovation and 1.8 times more likely to embrace change.

“And neurodiverse individuals often bring a wealth of benefits to the workplace too, as they typically display high attention to detail, have good memories, and are passionate and creative - all desirable characteristics when assembling a team.

“To attract such candidates, consider including statements in job adverts that encourage neurodiverse applications or host open days specifically tailored towards neurodiversity. Offer a mentoring program or provide managers with training to help offer better 1-2-1 support for employees to enable progression and development.

“There is no need to avoid the topic on neurodiversity in the workplace if anything it should be celebrated. But it should go without saying that all conversations should be respectful.

“Employers should have policies relating to equal opportunities and workplace diversity; these should tie into wider policies and procedures which confirm a zero-tolerance stance against any form of bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

“However, introducing a standalone neuro-inclusion policy, which provides an understanding of neurodiverse conditions and how they should be approached at work by colleagues and managers, removes ignorance and allows for greater compassion and care. The policy should also outline the reasonable adjustments available for neurodiverse employees, to allow them to feel effectively supported at work.”


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