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HR Insights Nov. 2019 Refreshing Law Slides


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Anna Denton-Jones from Refreshing Law Limited opened the talks introducing our topic for the last HR Insights session of 2019: Neurodiversity in the Workplace. Her presentation covers the need for reasonable adjustments and appropriate training to overcome stigmas & cliches about neurominorities. She also provided real examples on what employment law says on the topic.

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HR Insights Nov. 2019 Refreshing Law Slides

  1. 1. Neurodiversity in the workplace Anna Denton-Jones November 19th 2019
  2. 2. navigating employment law ACAS • ‘Refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people naturally think about things differently. We have different interests and motivations and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others’
  3. 3. navigating employment law Neuroscientists • ‘We need to admit that there is no standard brain’. – Armstrong
  4. 4. navigating employment law • ‘Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what sort of wiring will be the best in any given moment?’ – Blume
  5. 5. navigating employment law Gardiner’s MI theory • ‘We may be better off thinking of each of us as having multiple intelligences: visual-spatial, interpersonal, logical, musical, kinesthetic’.
  6. 6. navigating employment law Cliches • Great with computers • Clumsy • Odd at times • Swears a lot • Can’t spell • Likes her routine • Hopeless in a social setting
  7. 7. navigating employment law The workplace • The common scenario • Diagnosis later in life very common
  8. 8. navigating employment law Stephen Shore - Author • “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism” • Rule 1: No assumptions
  9. 9. navigating employment law Let’s use the right language • Neurodivergent/Neurodivergence • Neurodiverse • Neurominority • Neurotypical
  10. 10. navigating employment law One area where you do have a diverse workforce already • 1:7 people are neurodivergent • 15% of people • ”Neurodivergence is fairly common, so most workplaces are already neurodiverse” ACAS
  11. 11. navigating employment law Benefits of neurodiversity • ‘It’s simple. Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers. People with autism bring strengths that we need…each individual is different, some have an amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It’s a talent pool that we want to continue….’ VP Mary Ellen Smith - Microsoft
  12. 12. navigating employment law Benefits • Productivity: if people feel sale and authentic in work their output increases • Retention of skills and reduced turnover • Reflect society/customers • Avoid costs of claims
  13. 13. navigating employment law Discussion • What might the barriers be in the workplace for neurominorities?
  14. 14. navigating employment law ACAS Guide • Autism • Asperger’s Syndrome • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder • Dyslexia • Dyspraxia • Dyscalculia • Dysgraphia • Tourette’s syndrome
  15. 15. navigating employment law Do not make assumptions • Eg:- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders no longer uses the terms ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ and ‘high’ and ‘low’ functioning
  16. 16. navigating employment law Definition of a “disability”? “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long- term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”
  17. 17. navigating employment law 2011 Guidance on Definition of a Disability • B10 ”In some cases people have coping or avoidance strategies which cease to work in certain circumstances….it is possible that a person’s ability to manage the effects of an impairment will break down so that effects will sometimes occur. This possibility must be taken into account when assessing the effects”
  18. 18. navigating employment law NAS Website: • It’s quite common for people to have gone through life without an autism diagnosis, feeling somehow that they don’t quite fit in. • If the employee didn’t know themselves how could you be expected to know?
  19. 19. navigating employment law Donlien v Liberata UK Limited • Ought you to have known? • Burden will be on the employer to show it was unreasonable for it to have the required knowledge
  20. 20. navigating employment law Duty to make reasonable adjustments Where a provision, criteria or practice or a physical feature of the premises places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with a non- disabled person, the employer is required to make reasonable adjustments to remove that substantial disadvantage. The employer needs to know or be reasonably expected to know about the disability before this duty kicks in.
  21. 21. navigating employment law Recruitment Testing • BT v Meier 2019 – Scored 29 out of 180 – Court of Appeal finds reasonable adjustment: • Not test at all • Ignore score
  22. 22. navigating employment law Discrimination arising from a disability; section 15 Equality Act 2010 A person discriminates against a disabled person if they treat the disabled person unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of the disability and the treatment cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
  23. 23. navigating employment law City of York Council v Grosset • Lord Justice Sales – If an employer does know that there is a disability, he would be wise to look into the matter more carefully before taking unfavourable action. – Ie:- you are expected to understand the consequences of the condition
  24. 24. navigating employment law Undiagnosed issues • Illustrate to OH the issues you are experiencing in the workplace and seek their advice: – Pattern of issues – Lack of clarity about whether there is an underlying condition – Lack of clarity therefore about what support needed
  25. 25. navigating employment law When a condition is disclosed • Avoid making assumptions • Get expert advice • Confidentiality • Develop a Plan  Encourage dialogue  Regular reviews  Make adjustments • Training for managers in how to interact?
  26. 26. navigating employment law Discussion • What things can we do in our organisations to be more neurodivergent friendly?
  27. 27. navigating employment law Case study • Nigel – post on social media of a selfie with his face, your logo in the background and a screen showing porn. • Nigel is autistic. • He says he was encouraged to do it by his colleagues. • What steps should we be taking?
  28. 28. navigating employment law Case study • Allen has to record certain information as part of a set manufacturing process • Quality picked up an issue so investigated • When challenged Allen panicked about mistake and shredded paperwork, denied seeing it • CCTV recorded act • He’s been disciplined • He raises Asperger’s on appeal
  29. 29. navigating employment law Sources of further information • CIPD ‘Neurodiversity at Work’ 2018 • • • ADHD Foundation • British Dyslexia Association • Dyspraxia Foundation • Tourettes Action
  30. 30. Contact us: Phone 02920 533393 or 077977 545480