At the moment only 3 in 10 autistic people of working age are in employment. Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP and Lord Chancellor has conducted a review to report to Government on the issue. What can we learn from it?

  • Estimates are that 1 in 70 people are autistic and if you have numbers in your workforce, you are likely to have autistic people working for you.
  • Autistic people are facing the largest pay gap of all disability groups.
  • It paints a negative picture for people around the experience of recruitment processes. The challenges autistic job seekers face navigating generic job descriptions, interview questions and challenging sensory environments, where often the focus is on somebody’s social skills rather than the actual skills necessary to do the job.
  • Even after finding work, being in employment is a challenge. The Report talks about the lack of adjustments with only 35% of autistic employees being fully open with their employer about their position and 1 in 10 choosing not to disclose to anybody at work. The Report highlights poor knowledge of autism and managers being underprepared to identify and implement adjustments. Often the onus  is being placed on the employee to identify and ask for adjustments rather than the employer taking the initiative and complying with the duty the Equality Act 2010 places on them.

If you want to read more about the Report, here it is: The Buckland Review of Autism Employment: report and recommendations – GOV.UK (

In terms of recommendations, the Report contains a long list of recommendations and things that are relevant to employers and the practical things they can do. These include nominating buddies and mentors within the workforce, implement training, awareness raising, working with Access to Work (the Government funded department, who can pay up to £1,000 for adaptations in the workplace and up to £3,000 for other support),  offering paid internships for autistic young people, siting employees in a quiet place and not a high traffic area, time out rooms, noise cancelling headphones and adjusting recruitment processes so that they are focused on aptitude based assessments rather than interview questions.

Pick one thing and try and improve that……..

Refreshing Law
April 2024