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Know Your Rights

Being Assertive is OK

The Equality Act is a law which protects you from discrimination. It means that discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of certain personal characteristics, such as age, is now against the law in almost all cases.

It means that your employer by law cannot discriminate against you. This is effective from the moment you are employed.

You may be referred to Occupational Health. I have never been referred to Occupational Health however, it is a third party assesor who will assess your condition and then recommend reasonable adjustments to your employer to help you succeed in your role like a person without a disability would.

It is important to note that if an employer cannot make the reasonable adjustments due to cost etc then they do not have to however, they have to justify and prove why.

Covid has taught us when forced most can.

Alternatively an employer may talk to you about yout disability. They are allowed to do this. They may then work with you to help support you in the workplace and not have to use occupational health at all. 

My reasonable adjustments I have in place are:

- More flexible breaks

- Sat by the window facing the door

- Sat in a quieter part of the office

- Noise cancelling headphones

- If I am really struggling I am allowed to grab 5 minutes with someone I trust to offload

- I am allowed to leave the office if needed and go for a walk

- I have the option to work from home as an absolute last resort

- Mangers are to check I have had breaks as I hyper focus

- Managers will ask if I am OK but not how I feel

- 24 hours notice where possible for meetings

- Notice about desk moves

This seems like a lot but none costs money other than the noise cancelling headphones.

The idea of reasonable adjustments is to try and reduce stress and manage sensory overload so you can perform your job like everyone else.

Just as you wouldn't ask a disabled person to crawl up the stairs you should never sit an autistic person under a bright light between people typing with false nails and expect them to be able to concentrate on the task in hand. 

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