Autism: Myths and facts

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Beware of stereotypes; they can overlook people’s individuality, and lead to mocking and bullying.

‘Autism is one of those trendy ‘conditions’ that everyone seems to have these days.’
This is a commonly-heard view, but an inaccurate prejudice which undermines the very real experiences of people with autism and their friends and families.

How workplaces can create difficulties for autistic workers

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Workplaces and employers make work difficult for autistic workers for the following reasons:

Discrimination: Treating the autistic worker differently from, less favourably than, others.

Bullying by management, including ridicule and physical/ verbal abuse.

Lack of communication and support.

How workplaces can create difficulties for workers with autistic dependants

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Refusal of time off: An employer may refuse a request for time off, for example a career break or a period of leave to adjust and make arrangements when a
dependant is diagnosed with autism.

Childcare: Few employers provide workplace childcare; of those that do, few provide care suitable for autistic children.

Making workplaces autism-friendly

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Many employers assume that they do not need to make any changes until a worker identifies him/herself as autistic and requests adjustments (if they even think about the issue at all!). However, there are plenty of changes that an employer can implement to make the workplace more autism-friendly before an individual requests it. The advantages of doing this are:

Nothing about autistic people without autistic people

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

The trade union movement supports the demand of the disabled people’s movement: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’.

Many trade unions have structures for disabled members; if so, it may be useful to invite and welcome autistic members’ involvement in these.

There are organisations of autistic people, and trade unionists may benefit from their expertise.

Autism and Hate crime

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

In 2013, Labour MP Ian Mearns introduced a Ten-Minute Rule Bill to require the police to maintain a register of hate crimes committed against people with learning difficulties, learning disabilities and autism. During the early months of 2014, this Bill is progressing through its Parliamentary stages.

Autism in the Workplace - a guide to the law

From the TUC Handbook, Autism in the Workplace: 

Definition of disability

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Autism should qualify as a mental and/or physical impairment.

Unlawful discrimination 

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