Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Despite (or rather because) of this, individuals with this condition can add real value to the work place.
It is estimated that about 1.1% of the UK population are on the autistic spectrum. However, just 16% of autistic adults are in full time employment in the UK workplace (National Autistic Society).
Autism is not easy to recognise; it is not a physical condition, and often people will have learnt some excellent coping strategies which mean other are not able to recognise, and therefore adapt, to get the most out of an individual with the condition.
Because of this, there is also an increased risk of the workplace not being autistic-friendly. This increases the risk of unfair treatment, which is morally and legally wrong.
Autism is covered by the Equality Act (2010). This means it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual with this condition. It also means it is unlawful to discriminate against a carer of someone with autism.