Award winning York-based specialist employment solicitors, Torque Law, are joining forces with local neurodiversity specialist Creased Puddle to start a year-long campaign educating local employers on the business benefits of recruiting staff who have ‘hidden’ disabilities, and how to manage those employees effectively in the workplace.
Of course, employing people with conditions, such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism, carries with it some additional legal responsibility so far as UK equality law is concerned. This additional layer of complexity can sometimes be off-putting for employers. Tiggy Clifford, Partner at Torque Law, comments, “our aim is to inform businesses of their legal duties in a way which gives managers confidence in how best to deal with sensitive situations. In many cases the reasonable adjustments that need to be made for employees with hidden disabilities are minor and are inexpensive.”
It is anticipated that only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment, compared to 47% of people with other disabilities. That’s one enormous, largely untapped, talent pool. And with fears over employee shortages in certain sectors of the economy following Brexit, many local businesses need to look elsewhere for their recruits – targeting individuals with these types of conditions (otherwise known as being neurodivergent) is a very good starting point according to Creased Puddle founder, and neurodiversity specialist, Caroline Turner: “In the past 5 years in York, the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased by 229%. These children have started entering employment and disclosing their condition, often with a mixed response. Employing people with neurological differences such as autism, brings innate talents to a business and with the right support everyone can benefit. This isn’t just about being socially responsible, my clients find loyal, hard working, out-of-the-box thinkers that increase the bottom line.”
The campaign will include a programme of practical seminars throughout the year as well as regular briefings and checklists on the firm’s website www.torquelaw.co.uk and social media. The first seminar in the series “Neurodiversity in the Workplace” will take place on 7 February 2019 at The Grange Hotel in York (8:30 – 11am) – for more information and to book a place please visit https://torquelaw.co.uk/events/neurodiversity-in-the-workplace/
Emma Whiting, Partner at Torque Law, said, “With the majority of our clients being based in York, we are always on the lookout for ways in which we can help those local businesses gain a competitive edge in their chosen markets. We’re confident this campaign will generate business benefits for our clients, new and old.”