Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the workplace is very much a “hot topic” at the moment and employers are more aware of the need to understand their responsibilities and duty of care to employees who are neurodiverse.

Neurodiverse individuals are those whose brains may work in different ways and includes medical disorders and conditions, such as learning difficulties, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia and dyscalculia.

With that in mind, this article briefly considers what the duty of care is and any reasonable adjustments that may be required for those employees to ensure that they are supported in the workplace.

What is an employer’s duty of care?

Under Health and Safety legislation employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably possible, the health, safety and welfare at work of all of their employees. In addition, employers have a duty to carry out risk assessments. It therefore goes without saying that risk assessments should consider the specific needs of neurodiverse employees.

The law states that those carrying out risk assessments must have had “sufficient training and experience or knowledge”. It is imperative that risk assessors have undertaken training in order to recognise any risks for neurodiverse individuals in the workplace.

When considering an employer’s duty of care, it is also crucial to consider the Equality Act 2010.

Reasonable adjustments

There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to considering reasonable adjustments for those with neurodivergent conditions. Employers will therefore need to take action on a case by case basis, and will need to tailor practices and techniques for learning, communicating and working to an individual’s circumstances.

When looking at reasonable adjustments it is very important for managers to be aware of how neurodivergent conditions can manifest themselves. Managers need to be able to empathise and create practical strategies for supporting each individual employee’s needs and requirements.


It goes without saying that designing a truly inclusive workplace for all individuals can produce significant benefits for organisations. It is important for employers to embrace neurodiversity, implementing reasonable adjustments where appropriate to ensure that individuals are supported and valuable talent is not lost.

If you would like more information about any of the issues raised in this article or on any other aspect of employment law, please contact us on 029 2034 5511 or at