It is imperative that work mentors and line managers ensure continued open channels of communication with employees. This allows employees to feel supported but also able to report any worries, concerns or ideas.
It is helpful that employers are mindful of the peaks and troughs of mood and exhaustion as part of Autism. This can often put potential employees off from applying for roles but having an understanding of this can encourage an excellent employee not only to apply to your company but to stay in that role and develop their talents more widely.
Be aware that ‘reasonable adjustments’ in working conditions may be required at any time during employment and not just at the start. It may be that the employee needs to spend some time in the work environment before indicating what needs to be adjusted to make their work environment more appropriate to their needs. After spending some time in the role, it may be that both you and the employee recognise a need for regular planned breaks. Making reasonable adjustments to working patterns could allow this.
If the help an employee needs at work is not covered by the employer making reasonable adjustments, an employee may be able to get help from Access to Work. An Access to Work grant can pay for things such as special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help an employee with tasks such as answering the phone or attending meetings. There is a 6 week window in which the employee may make a request for an assessment where 100% of the grant will be paid. After that, the costs will be shared between employer and Access to Work.
Clear and honest communication is all that is needed at all stages of the recruitment process. It is imperative that both employers and employees demonstrate a willingness to learn and understand each other which will result in an excellent, diverse workforce.
Here are some further resources you may find useful:
If you want any local training or consultancy around autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, Tigger Pritchard is our local connection and provides excellent training and insight. He can be contacted in the following ways:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 07968 488762 or LinkedIn- Tigger Pritchard