Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. More than 1 in a 100 people in the UK are autistic.
People with autism are covered under the Equality Act 2010. It remains difficult for this cohort to enter the job market, gain a job and retain it. This is largely due to continued prejudice and stigma along with bullying.
Examples of direct bullying of those with autism:
- rude remarks
- jokes or remarks about your disability
- insulting you in what they are saying to you or the way they are behaving towards you
- overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position
- unwelcome sexual advances – this could be touching you, or standing too close to you while showing or displaying something that you find offensive
- humiliating you in front of other colleagues
- physical abuse.
Examples of indirect bullying of those with autism:
- not being put forward for training or promotion
- persistently criticising your performance
- setting you tasks or deadlines that you are never going to be able to meet
- leaving you out or not inviting you to team social events
- spreading malicious rumours about you
- making uncalled for comments about your job security when you have been working perfectly satisfactorily; for example, saying that the last person who did your job was fired for not doing the job correctly.
Resources for employers, employees and others can be found on the National Autistic Society website.