A new survey by VinciWorks reveals a disparity between corporate intentions and actual practices concerning neurodiversity in the workplace. Conducted among 227 compliance and HR professionals, the survey reveals critical insights:

  • Uncertainty Around Support: A significant 40 percent of respondents are unsure if their organisations genuinely support neurodivergent employees.
  • Lack of Active Support: Nearly a quarter (23%) believe their workplaces do not actively support neurodivergent staff.

The survey highlights major challenges impeding neurodiversity inclusion. Notably, 48 percent of respondents cited a lack of awareness as the primary obstacle, while over a quarter (26%) pointed to limited resources as a significant barrier.

Nick Henderson-Mayo, Director of Learning and Content at VinciWorks, expressed alarm at these findings. “It’s shocking that 40 percent of companies are unsure if they support neurodivergent employees. This isn’t just a compliance issue, it’s talent blindness. Organisations are missing out on a massive pool of creative potential and brilliant minds because their procedures are not neurodiversity friendly,” he stated.

Neurodiversity: A Growing Focus with Legal and Business Implications

Neurodiversity, which encompasses the natural variations in human brain function influencing our interactions and information processing, is increasingly recognised as a critical aspect of workplace inclusion. In the UK, approximately one in seven people are neurodivergent, making it imperative for organisations to address this demographic’s needs.

While the Equality Act 2010 protects neurodiversity, the benefits of embracing it extend beyond legal compliance. Research indicates that neurodiverse individuals contribute unique talents and perspectives that enhance problem-solving, innovation, and creativity, providing businesses with a significant competitive edge.

However, the lack of inclusivity presents rising risks. Last year, over a hundred cases of neurodiversity discrimination were brought before employment tribunals, marking a notable increase from the previous year. Companies that fail to support neurodivergent staff not only risk losing valuable employees but also face potential legal repercussions. Despite these risks, fostering a neurodiversity-friendly workplace need not be complex or costly.

Building a More Inclusive Future

Numerous resources are available to assist organisations in becoming more neuro-inclusive. VinciWorks has published ‘Neurodiversity at Work’, a free guide designed to help business leaders and HR professionals create supportive environments and implement reasonable adjustments.

“Failing to be neurodiversity friendly is a bad business decision,” Henderson-Mayo emphasised. “Supporting neurodivergent employees doesn’t require expensive overhauls. It’s about fostering a culture of empathy and understanding. Simple accommodations like flexible work arrangements, noise-cancelling headphones, and clear communication protocols can make all the difference for neurodivergent individuals.”

He concluded, “It’s about respecting individual needs, and in turn, we’ll see a more engaged workforce, a wider range of ideas, and a company culture that celebrates differences rather than punishes them.”

As awareness of neurodiversity continues to grow, the imperative for companies to adapt and support their neurodivergent staff becomes ever more critical. The VinciWorks survey serves as a wake-up call for organisations to bridge the gap between intention and practice, ensuring a more inclusive and innovative future.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.