Less than a quarter of HR professionals have had specific training to support neurodiverse employees, according to research from City & Guilds and Do-IT Solutions.
The research from the City & Guilds Foundation and Do-IT found that, despite growing awareness of neurodiversity among companies, a relatively low proportion are responding to this through training. Almost half (49%) of organisations surveyed have neurodiversity champions or mentors, however.
It found that a slightly higher proportion of senior leaders (29%) had received specific training related to neurodiversity. This is despite the fact that eight in 10 respondents to the survey felt it was important to have disability inclusion policies and procedures in the workplace.
The lack of support negatively impacts neurodiverse employees, with 32% saying they have not been able to disclose their condition in the workplace, and 40% feeling they are impacted most days by it. Ten percent of respondents with a neurodiverse condition said they had been met with a poor response if they have disclosed.
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Neurodivergent employees were more likely to disclose that their children had such a condition, with just under half of respondents reporting family dependents who are neurodiverse. Three in 10 parents of neurodivergent children said this had an impact on their work.
Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City & Guilds, said many neurodivergent people faced barriers at work, despite figures suggesting as many as one in seven of the population could have a condition such as ADHD, dyslexia, or be on the autism spectrum. Between 30% and 40% of neurodivergent people in the UK are unemployed, according to figures from MyDisabilityJobs.com.
Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, added: “The challenge remains in society that there is still a low level of appreciation of differences and the talents and skills we can gain if we ensure a more inclusive approach to both education and employment.
“This research is not only about employers, it’s also very important to capture an understanding from employees working in all sizes of organisations and to hear their current lived experiences and enable a means of having their voices heard.”
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