What the law says about people with autism and employment
The National Autistic Society website provides detailed information on current legislation and how this effects the employment rights of people with autism
Understanding the rights of people with autism is an important factor in making sure equality is upheld across the employment sector.
In Northern Ireland and the UK:
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is a key piece of legislation put in place to safeguard against discrimination in employment. It places a Disability Equality Duty (DED) on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people. The autism strategy makes it clear that this duty applies to adults on the autism spectrum.
From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the DDA. In April 2011, the DED was replaced by the Public Sector Equality Duty.
In the Republic of Ireland:
The Disability Act (2005) places an obligation on public bodies to be pro-active in employing people with disabilities.
The Citizens Information Act (2007) provides for a legal right to advocacy and the establishment of a statutory advocacy service called the Personal Advocacy Service. The Personal Advocacy Service would have legal powers to enter premises and make enquiries on behalf of persons in residential and day services. Service providers would be legally obliged to co-operate with the service. Personal Advocates would have the power to pursue any right of review or appeal on behalf of the person with a disability. However, this statutory advocacy service is not yet in place, and there is no date for its commencement.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
The CRPD Article 27 states that persons with disabilities have a right to work and employment on an equal basis with others. It also states that parties should promote work opportunities, public sector employment, vocational training and job retention programmes.
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