In the wake of a government-backed review of autism employment, City & Guilds has unveiled its annual Neurodiversity Index 2024, shedding light on the struggles faced by neurodivergent individuals in the workplace.

The report, released ahead of Neurodiversity Week, discloses that an alarming 50 percent of surveyed employees have missed work due to a lack of support for their neurodivergence.

The second edition of the Neurodiversity Index, conducted in collaboration with Do-IT Solutions and encompassing input from over 600 individuals and organisations, reveals concerning statistics. Notably, 36 percent of neurodivergent employees report not receiving any guidance or support in adjusting their workplace settings. Furthermore, 20 percent are still awaiting necessary adjustments.

The impact on productivity is stark, with survey respondents detailing cycles of burnout and compensatory out-of-hours work to manage their conditions. Despite these challenges, the survey indicates a decline in organisational commitment to disability and inclusion policies, dropping from 53 percent in 2022 to 49 percent in the current findings.

However, there are signs of gradual improvement:

  • 40 percent of organisations now have alternative application processes, up from 35 percent last year.
  • 44 percent of organisations have implemented neuro-inclusive strategies, compared to 34 percent in the previous year.
  • A 7 percent increase in organisations with a neuro-inclusive commitment, although one in three workplaces surveyed lack a central commitment.

A novel addition to the 2024 Index explores the impact of work on parents’ ability to care for neurodiverse children. Shockingly, 28 percent of organisations admit to not making any accommodations for such parents, though 33 percent express plans to introduce accommodations in the future.

Recommendations from the Neurodiversity Index, building on the Buckland Review of Autism Employment, include:

  • Inclusive practices during the hiring process, from accessible job descriptions to pre-interview questions and comprehensive onboarding.
  • Adoption of ‘Neurodiversity Champions’ to model best practices and serve as a resource for colleagues.
  • Mandatory neuro-inclusion training for all managers and senior leaders.
  • Ensuring accommodations, be they physical, technological, or communicative, are in place to support all employees.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds, emphasises the need for employers to take neurodiversity seriously and provide adequate workplace support. She encourages organisations to use the findings to inspire more training, allowing staff to better understand and support neurodivergent colleagues.

Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, expresses excitement about the partnership with City & Guilds Foundation, acknowledging both progress and persisting challenges for neurodiverse individuals in the workplace. She particularly notes the negative impact of the end of home working on parents of neurodiverse children, advocating for increased flexibility.





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.