New research from the City & Guilds Foundation, and neurodiversity experts Do-IT Solutions has found that employers are currently failing to support neurodivergent employees with a lack of training and awareness available in the workplace. Despite the research finding that 41 per cent of employers have adapted recruitment processes to accommodate neurodivergent traits, only a third of HR professionals and 29 per cent of senior leaders have had any specific training in relation to neurodiversity.

An overwhelming 80 per cent of the 972 respondents think it’s important to have disability inclusion policies and procedures in the workplace yet the research findings prove that this is currently lacking with just 23 per cent of HR respondents having any training relating to neurodiversity in the last 12 months.

Over half of respondents (56 per cent) have felt as if they can’t disclose their neurodivergent condition in the workplace, with 10 per cent of respondents having been met with a poor response once they have done so. More positively almost half of organisations included in the research (49 per cent) have neurodiversity champions or mentors, serving as advocates and allies and raising awareness of neurodiversity within the workplace.

Neurodivergent respondents of the survey were also more likely to report having neurodivergent children. Just under half the respondents have family dependents with a neurodivergent condition and 30 per cent of parents of neurodivergent children have said it’s had an impact on their work.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds, said: “Neurodivergent people are estimated to make up 1 in 7 of the population in the UK, and when given the opportunity can bring fresh thinking to businesses that makes them more resilient and profitable. However, many face barriers when it comes to education, and training and getting into (and staying in) work. This is demonstrated in the fact that 30-40 per cent of neurodivergent people are unemployed in the UK today.

“To support more businesses to employ neurodivergent people, we carried out this important piece of research to find a benchmark for organisations to use and to consider what actions they should take to create a more inclusive workplace for all.”

Professor Amanda Kirby MBBS MRCGP PhD, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, said: “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. I’m delighted to be able to partner with City & Guilds Foundation on this Neurodiversity Index which will hopefully support many organisations on their quest to become more inclusive.”

Stay up to date

Keep me up to date to receive all the latest news and updates.