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Thinking differently at work

 

GMB's Thinking differently at work – toolkit on neurodiversity in the workplace includes a model employer policy aimed at making the world of work more inclusive. Find out more below.

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is a term which describes the natural differences in the way that people think and process information.  

Today, those differences are given labels such as autism spectrum conditions, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia.  

The term also recognises both the difficulties that people who have these conditions may encounter in the workplace and the unique strengths that come from thinking differently.  

Collectively people who are, for example, dyslexic or dyspraxia can be referred to as neurodivergent. 

At least one in ten working-age adults are neurodivergent in some way. Not all neurodivergent workers have had a formal diagnosis or may not have disclosed to their employer that they are neurodivergent. 

Why is it a workplace issue?

Neurodivergent workers often have significant strengths that can bring real value to their workplace. 

Unfortunately, most workplaces and working practices are not designed to be inclusive of people with these natural differences in thinking and processing information. This can create barriers to neurodivergent people doing their job - which can lead to discrimination, stress and even job loss. 

No worker should have to shoulder burdens alone. GMB believes that the most effective response will always be on a collective level. This toolkit and materials are intended to be used to both support representation of individual workers and to campaign to make the workplace more inclusive for everyone.  

The toolkit

The toolkit includes three main documents, linked below. They contain key information and advice on:

  • An introduction to diagnostic labels, including dyslexia and ADHD  

  • Good employment practice and neurodiversity and the law  

  • Getting an assessment, diagnosis or disclosing a neurodivergent condition to an employer 

  • Reasonable adjustments; Access to Work and other official schemes  

  • Tools for reps including a checklist, a model letter to employers and a model neurodiversity employer policy.

 

Neurodiversity Toolkit

Dyspraxia Toolkit

Neurodiversity and the Law

What can reps do?

GMB reps play a vital part in supporting neurodivergent members in the workplace and fighting for reasonable adjustments.  

Negotiating adjustments can be a long and stressful process for workers where there is no agreed time limit or process.

To be effective, policies need to be in place at an employer level so that all workers know they will be supported. GMB reps are in a key position to ensure neurodiversity is on the bargaining agenda by getting employers to sign up to the Thinking Differently at Work model policy.

Want to get involved? For more information or to request the toolkits in another format please contact us on equalityinclusion@gmb.org.uk or via your regional equality officer

 
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