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Neurodiversity and the Equality Act

Neurodiversity and the Equality Act 2010

No neurodiverse condition is defined as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – very few conditions are – but many people would be able to prove that their condition counts as a disability by significantly impairing their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. These include activities such as:

  • reading the newspaper,
  • travelling unassisted on public transport,
  • filling in a form without assistance.

If you can prove that this is the case (normally evidence is required from a diagnostic assessment), then you would be recognised as having a “hidden disability” and your employment rights are protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Different disability legislation may apply if you live in Northern Ireland. Please check with the Equality Commission Northern Ireland for the most up-to-date information:    

Disciplinary and performance management procedures

If you are being disciplined on the grounds of capability or performance, and you suspect that the root cause of the problems may be an undiagnosed neurodiverse condition, inform the TSSA rep handling your case straight away. The procedure should be suspended whilst you have a diagnostic assessment. If you have a recognised condition that may be underlying the reasons for your discliplinary or performance issues, consider requesting a programme of support and adjustments from your employer to give you a fair chance to remedy the issues.

Health and safety

TSSA members work in the rail, bus and travel industries and some are employed in safety-critical roles. If you are doing a job in which difficulties with short-term memory (e.g. remembering one set of instructions whilst listening to another) and organisation might potentially be a safety issue, it is really important to talk to your Neurodiversity champion or rep. They will listen to you in confidence and should not disclose your situation to anybody else without your permission. Many neurodiverse trade union members are employed in frontline roles. Having a neurodiverse condition should not affect most people’s ability to safely perform their job - and it is a good idea to get support if you need it. 

Dyslexia Not Visible Euston