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Neurodiversity Index 2024 Highlights Lack of Workplace Support

A survey on the challenges faced by neurodiverse people in the workplace shows half of those who took part were off work last year due to their condition.


The Neurodiversity Index – an annual report charting the progress of neurodiversity support in the workplace – surveyed 573 UK employees and 93 organisations over three months between September and December 2023.


Published by City & Guilds Foundation to coincide with Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 18-22), the survey sample included people with conditions like autism, ADHD and dyspraxia.


The findings show that 36% of neurodivergent employees, who often have heightened skills related to their diagnosis and face numerous challenges in the workplace, do not receive any guidance or support in their workplace setting, while 20% are still waiting for adjustments to be put in place.


The report underscores the real-terms impact on productivity caused by a lack of workplace support. Survey respondents report regular cycles of burnout, as well as out of hours work to make up for time spent managing their conditions during the day.


 However, the report also shows gradual year-on-year progress in certain key areas:


40% of organisations surveyed have alternative application processes in place, up from 35% last year.

44% of organisations have neuro-inclusive strategies in place, compared to 34% last year.

There is a 7% increase in the number of organisations with a neuro-inclusive commitment in place. Although one in three workplaces surveyed, lack a central commitment.


“The findings in this year’s Neurodiversity Index reinforce the message that many employers could go much further in taking neurodiversity seriously and providing adequate workplace support for those who need it,” said Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds.

“As an organisation committed to skills development, we really want to see employers look at these findings and do more to support their neurodiverse employees. By incorporating more training, staff can become better educated and use those learnings to listen to neurodiverse employees and make reasonable workplace adjustments.”


Building on recent recommendations from the Buckland Review of Autism Employment, a government-backed review into inclusion for autistic people in the workplace, the Neurodiversity Index recommends:


·       * ‘Baking in’ inclusive practice during the hiring process, from making job descriptions accessible, to providing questions before an interview and comprehensive onboarding.

·       * Adopting ‘Neurodiversity Champions’ in the workplace to model best practice, provide a first port of call for colleagues seeking advice, and to boost representation.

·       * Rolling out mandatory neuro-inclusion training for all managers and senior leaders to ensure it is considered in organisational decision-making.

·       * Ensuring that physical, technological, and communication accommodations are in place to support all employees to access every aspect of the workplace.






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