Saturday, 15 June, 2024
HomeMedico-Legal‘Neurodiversity’ discrimination is new frontier in UK employment disputes

‘Neurodiversity’ discrimination is new frontier in UK employment disputes

Employment tribunals in which employees alleged they were discriminated against for being “neurodiverse” rose by a third in Britain last year.

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that describes the differing ways people’s brains process information and includes, in addition to ADHD and autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. It is thought about one in seven people in the UK have some kind of neurodivergence.

Personnel Today reports that legal firm Fox & Partners says the rise in tribunals – to 93 in 2021 from 70 in 2020 – is possibly due to an increased awareness of neurodiverse conditions.

The number of autism diagnoses has increased 787% over the past two decades, while prescriptions for medication to treat ADHD jumped 800%: Fox statistics showed a 40% rise in employment tribunals relating to autism, a 31% rise in Asperger’s cases, and a 14% rise in dyslexia claims in the past year alone.

The law firm said tribunal claims often arose when employees felt sidelined or unsupported or believed they had been dismissed for reasons linked to their disability.

People with neurodiversity issues can battle to adapt to some professional environments, for example, employees with autism might suffer from sensory overload due to noise in the workplace or struggle to judge social cues in a professional environment, while ADHD sufferers often have problems focusing on tasks or managing their time.

Fox & Partners said employers should seek to harness the advantages of a diverse workforce that included neurodiverse employees, and that many often excelled in creative roles, or in strategic thinking and problem solving.


Personnel Today article ¬ Steep rise in employment tribunal claims over neurodiversity discrimination (Open access)


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