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Autism Employment - The Buckland Review

Sir Robert Buckland, an MP based in England, led a review on Autism Employment, supported by Autistica and the Department for Work and Pensions, addressing the significant underemployment of autistic individuals in the UK, with the final Review published February 2024. 


With only 3 in 10 autistic people of working-age being employed, and alarmingly only 35% of autistic people in employment comfortable to share that they are autistic with their employer, the review identifies barriers such as unfair hiring practices, inadequate employer preparation, and societal stigma. 50% of employers shared that they are fearful or hesitant to employ someone with a disability.


The review proposes 19 recommendations across five key areas: 

  1. raising awareness, 

  2. supporting career entry or return, 

  3. adjusting recruitment practices, 

  4. workplace support, 

  5. career progression for autistic employees. 


These recommendations aim to change employer behaviour, improve autistic individuals' employment rates, and ensure that autistic people receive necessary support. The review also highlights existing initiatives like the Universal Support programme, Disability Confident, and Access to Work, suggesting enhancements to these programs.


Within A-ND, we have being working hard internally over the last 3 years to ensure we address barriers, and have been awarded and acknowledged as a proud Disability Confident Employer, Real Living Wage Employer, and made significant changes to our own recruitment practices and processes:

  • providing an automatic interview for those who self-identify as neurodivergent (for any role)

  • sending interview schedules and questions in advanced of interviews  

  • providing pictures in advanced of the interview panel, office space and room wherever possible  

  • Revising our interview questions to be role specific, not generic, using the Contribution Model.

  • Adopting Fair Work First principles and practices 

  • Introducing new values, providing enhanced training in resilience, trauma informed practice and attachment, striving for supportive, safe and purposeful culture and relationships across teams.  

Externally over this last 2 years, we have worked closely with employers throughout Aberdeen, as well as nationally with organisations from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Reading through our consultancy and training to improve employment and create opportunities for our Neurodiverse community .

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