An employment solicitors guide to introducing neurodiversity

You may have heard the terms neurodiversity and neurodiverse more often recently, but are you aware of what they mean? Being neurodiverse is the idea that there is no one way to experience and interact with the world. This year, your employment solicitors gave you some advice on introducing neurodiversity in your place of work.

There is no ‘right’ way of learning, thinking or behaving, and differences should not be viewed as weaknesses. Although neurodiversity refers to diversity across all people, it is normally attributed to those with autism spectrum disorder or other neurological or developmental conditions.

Now that many employers are beginning to understand the importance of diversity in the workplace, they are starting to hire candidates from a variety of backgrounds.

However, there is still one area of diversity that is often overlooked: neurodiversity. In addition to providing unique insights and perspectives, neurodiverse employees can also bring a number of benefits to your business.

So when you’re considering a neurodiverse hire, keep in mind all the ways they can improve your company.

Understanding the gender pay gap in the UK

According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), in 2021, the gender pay gap rose from 14.9% to 15.4%. The pandemic has clearly had a part to play in the widening gap between male and female rates of pay.

However, these statistics are not as simple as they may first appear. Simply put, the gender pay gap does still exist in the UK and more widely across the world, but employers and employees alike are fighting to reduce the gap and create more equality for women in the workplace.

It is important to note that much has been done to reduce the gender pay gap, and work is still being carried out today to stop employers from trying to get around the legislation within the Equality Act 2010.

The government are taking action on the gender pay gap in a number of ways to try and reduce the gap between male and female employees and make the workplace a fair place for all.

This includes requiring large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus gap data, offering 30 hours of childcare for working families and extending the right to flexible working for all employees to boost shared parental leave.

For those employees who believe they are facing discrimination in the workplace because of a gender pay gap, it can be a big challenge to find the information required to prove that discrimination has taken place.

Employees need to know firsthand that their counterparts are being paid more, and this in itself is a challenge as many employees are very secretive about their pay scale, promoted by employers who often make it a misconduct event to discuss your pay scales with other employees.

These employees also need to prove that their roles are similar to or the same as their counterparts which can also be difficult.

Working with employment solicitors on age discrimination at work

It’s no secret that the world is ageing, and it’s now very likely that you will find up to four generations of adults working alongside each other. For this reason, employers must be seen to be creating an inclusive workplace that is devoid of individual or organisational harm. This goes for any adult who works within the company and not just those of an older generation.

The Equality Act 2010 covers a range of protected characteristics in the workplace, and those who are deemed not to be following the Equality Act 2010 can be taken to court by their employees. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you need to determine if you are protected by a characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Being given unpleasant duties – If you have gone from hosting board meetings and speaking with clients to being pushed into taking notes, kept out of conversations, or asked to make a drink, this could be a sign of age discrimination.

Hearing negative comments about your age – Hearing people gossiping about your age in the office, or worse, your boss pointedly asking about your retirement places (if you are older) or when you are going back to school (if you are younger) is often a red flag towards age discrimination.

Low-performance reviews for no apparent reason – If you have been celebrating your fantastic performance reviews throughout your career with the company, a sudden negative review could leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.

Out with the older workforce and in with the younger – We have all seen this happen at some point during our working lives. The older generation is slowly pushed out of the company whilst younger employees are hired to do the job.

Your payslip no longer reflects your work – If a colleague had a fantastic year and got a raise and you had an OK year but didn’t get one, this is not age discrimination. However, if you had a fantastic year like your colleague but have no raise to show for it, this should be raising those flags!

This may also interest you:

The terrifying truth about a verbal contract in the UK

Merry Christmas from all at Catherine Herries-Smith Solicitors

This year, we have worked with a variety of clients to improve their working conditions and with employers to ensure their businesses are protected from disputes moving forward as your local employment solicitors.

We would like to thank our existing and new clients for the support we have received over 2022, and we look forward to working with you in 2023. Until that time, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!