Wales TUC has created a new toolkit called Autism awareness in the workplace. The aim of this toolkit is to provide information to help union officers and reps in Wales to represent autistic members or those who have autistic family members.
The toolkit will help reps to recognise the workplace issues that can impact on autistic people and will give them the information and guidance they need to help tackle those issues.
Autism is a term describing a wide range of conditions that reflect neurological differences among people. These are known as autism spectrum conditions (ASCs).
Autism, along with other neurological conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are all examples of ‘neurodiversity’.
Neurodiversity is a relatively new term that refers to the diversity of the human brain. This means there is a wide range of difference in how people’s brains work. Neurodiversity recognises that some people’s brains are wired differently.
There are an estimated 31,000 people with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) in Wales and an increasing number of people in work have a formal diagnosis.
There are also many people with the condition who, for a variety of reasons, may not have a formal diagnosis.
Many workers are the parent or carer of someone with autism.
Barriers that are placed in the way of workers who have autism spectrum conditions can negatively affect their lives at work. And some are excluded from work simply because of their condition.
Trade unions have a vital role to play in increasing awareness and understanding of autism in the work place and enforcing the rights that protect people.
Only 16% of autistic people are in full-time work and the overall employment rate (32%) is 2.5 times lower than for the non-disabled population.
77% of those who are out of work say they want to work.
Examples of autism-friendly changes to the work place include:
Use our new Autism awareness in the workplace toolkit to find out more about how you can support autistic people in your workplace.