Starting Work

Once you have successfully been offered a job, arrangements can start to be made for you beginning work.

Starting a new job is a big transition and it may take some time to adjust to your new responsibilities and the change to your routine. It is a good idea to speak to your new line manager or somebody from the Human Resources department before you start, so you can make sure that everything you need to do your job will be in place, and to find out more information about what your new role and workplace will be like.

If you feel your employer and/or your new colleagues don’t know much about autism and this is making things difficult, there are organisations that can provide training or information sessions for them. Information about this can also be found on our ‘Information for Employers’ page.

Workplace adaptations
Changes that are made to the workplace are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’. Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers faced by any disabled person (autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are defined as disabilities under this Act). This can mean that adjustments can be made for you at your new workplace if necessary. What adaptations someone might require will be very different from person to person, so it is important to think about what you need in order for you to do your job well, and talk through with your line manager what the options are. If there is a cost associated with the change made, there is a Government scheme called ‘Access to Work‘ which can be applied to for covering the cost.

It is against the law for an organisation to discriminate against you because you are on the autism spectrum – if you feel like this has happened you can find out more information about what you can do about it on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website here.

Support workers/buddies
If you think that you would benefit from having a ‘buddy’ or support worker to support you in starting your new job, you are entitled to ask for this. This would usually be arranged and funded through Access to Work, or sometimes from an external support agency. Another option for some might be to use a Self Directed Support budget to pay for a support worker.

If your employer doesn’t know how to arrange reasonable adjustments and/or a support worker or buddy, you can direct them to this page of our website.

Click here to see some points to think about

Before you start at your new job, here are some things to consider:

  • Asking to visit your new workplace before your first day
    • This means that you can work out whether there are any adjustments that you will need, for example if you have been placed in a very noisy area, or if there is a very bright light that you know will bother you.
    • It would also provide an opportunity to meet your new colleagues before you start.
  • Meeting with your new line manager to work out the most effective ways of working together
    • For example, if you find it difficult to process verbal instructions, you can ask that your line manager writes down the tasks they would like you to do, or sends them by email
    • You can also discuss what your expectations are of each other so you know what they are looking for before you start
  • Some other things it may be useful to discuss before you start, depending on your situation, are:
    • The hours you will be working, and whether these are flexible
    • Scheduling regular catch ups with them, so you can talk about how you are getting on
    • If there are any additional pieces of equipment you need

If you would like further information about any of the above, or would like to know more about what support is available to you, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss this with you.

You can also visit our Useful Links and Documents page to find further information about autism and employment.