13th – 19th March 2023 is neurodiversity celebration week, but just how much do you know about the term and its impact in the workplace?
The term ‘neurodiversity’ refers to the infinite range of differences in individual human brain function and behavioural traits, and the term was first used in the late 1900s by an autistic sociologist, Judy Singer.
An inclusive and neurodiverse workforce can be an advantage for employers, as it may lead to larger retention rates for supported employees and even higher levels of innovation and creativity.
With medical experts estimating that at least 15-20% of the UK population is neurodiverse, how can employers implement support for their neurodiverse employees? Here are a few suggestions:
- Implement a neurominority policy;
- Consider flexible working, or if you have already implemented flexible working, consider extensions and/or exceptions to your policy;
- Make tailored changes to physical workspaces after conducting a workplace assessment with neurodiverse employees;
- Offer quiet spaces, or if this is not possible, offer desk space in areas guaranteed to have fewer people walking by;
- Provide noise-cancelling headphones;
- Offer screen readers;
- Ensure line managers and the HR department receive appropriate training;
- Create an internal support system – this could be laid out in your neurominority policy, and could point neurodiverse employees to individuals who are trained to support their individual needs; and
- Suggest an optional mentoring scheme.
Please feel free to contact the Employment Team on [email protected] for any assistance.