Decorators merchant Brewers Decorator Centres demonstrates support for its neurodiverse employees through a dedicated policy that recognises the strength and opportunities a workforce of this kind can bring.
The organisation, which has more than 200 sites across the UK and Jersey and 1,500 employees, introduced a neurodiverse policy in written, video and dyslexia-friendly formats in November 2023.
Through the policy, it has made a series of commitments which include ensuring all staff receive opportunities, encouragement and support to realise their full potential; not subjecting anyone to unfavourable treatment if they disclose a neurodivergent condition; using cognitive approaches to establish a genuinely inclusive workplace, and identifying and implementing support based on individual discussions, not assumptions or stereotypes.
Brewers will apply this policy to any employee who has a confirmed diagnosis, is currently undergoing assessment, or has reason to believe they may be neurodiverse, explains Jane Clifford, people director at Brewers Decorator Centres.
“We want employees to come forward if they are neurodiverse and feel they need help or support, so we can ensure we make any reasonable adjustments which may be beneficial and make their day easier,” she says. “We are also offering adjustments to our recruitment process, including coaching for any internal applicants who are applying for vacancies, to ensure that we give the opportunity for all candidates to be their best. We appreciate that it can be a challenging process for some, and we want to ensure we level the playing field to give everyone an opportunity to progress and develop.”
The neurodiversity policy sits alongside the employer’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy. It is up to Brewers staff to decide if they want to disclose a diagnosis or an ongoing assessment with a manager and a member of the people team, who may then, if needed, make reasonable adjustments, provide a needs assessment with a neurodiversity expert through its occupational health provider or via the government scheme Access to Work, and highlight wellbeing support via its employee assistance programme, mental health first aiders and external resources.
The organisation is also aiming to roll out training support and resources for relevant members of the people team and managers, who are regularly involved in recruitment, in early 2024.
“Brewers welcomes everyone and is committed to creating working environments where it is acknowledged and celebrated that a diverse workforce is the key to success. We want to ensure employees all feel able to be their authentic self at work. We want to raise awareness and create a culture where staff and customers feel safe to discuss their needs and to advocate for themselves,” Clifford concludes.