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Employment news in brief January 2017

3.01.2017

Autism

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has published a report that calls on employers to curb an autism employment gap. According to the report only 16% of people with autism are currently in full-time employment. Furthermore, only 32% are in any form of paid work in contrast with 47% of disabled workers and 80% of able-bodied workers.

NAS suggests that it is barriers within the workplace that create the biggest hurdle. It suggests that relatively small adjustments could be made to assist people with autism such as allowing them to wear headphones if they are feeling overwhelmed. In addition, the charity suggests that businesses could benefit from an autistic employee’s tenacity and intellectual curiosity.

A recent YouGov poll revealed that 60% of employers worry about “getting it wrong” in terms of support for an autistic employee and they don’t know who to turn to for support and advice.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Acas has published guidance concerning marriage and civil partnership discrimination. The guide summarises the current legal protections and obligations under the Equality Act 2010. It also offers guidance to employers, employees and job applicants on how marriage and civil partnership discrimination can occur in the workplace, how it can be dealt with and how to reduce the chance of future discrimination.

Internships

The National Minimum Wage (Workplace Internships) Bill 2016-17 is scheduled to have its second reading on 4 November 2016. The Bill will propose that the Secretary of State applies the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to workplace internships.

The Bill follows the recent debate around unpaid internships after they were criticised for favouring young people with wealthy parents. Unpaid internships fail to offer equal opportunities to young people by excluding those who are unable to receive suitable financial support from other sources.

This is the first time a ban on unpaid internships has been considered since
David Cameron blocked Nick Clegg’s proposals in 2011.

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