Prospect Trade Union

Prospect's 141,000 members are engineers, scientists, managers and specialists in areas as diverse as agriculture, broadcasting, defence, education and children's services, energy, environment, heritage, shipbuilding, telecoms and transport. They are the largest union in the UK representing professional engineers.

Background

Prospect Trade Union have recognised that as a specialist technical trade union, their membership is likely to be made up of a larger proportion of people with neurodiverse conditions such as autism, Asperger syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia - and also the employers that work with them will often be seeking specialist advice, guidance and signposting to support employees in the workplace. 

Sue Ferns, Deputy General Secretary at Prospect shared,

Prospect are working to improve understanding of autism and its impact in the workplace. We have benefited hugely from the expertise and experience of The National Autistic Society. We still have work to do, but we are now better equipped to support and advise our members

Prospect have developed helpful resources for members and employers on autism and Asperger syndrome, including information on the conditions and signposting to specialist organisations for further support, including The National Autistic Society.

Prospect has also included good practice case studies in supporting neurodiverse employees, and specifically a case study at the Intellectual Property Office in Newport South Wales which has worked with The National Autistic Society to support Managers and employees around Autistic Spectrum Conditions, by undertaking tailored workplace assessments for individual employees and also wider training to the tutors, HR, managers and staff based there.

Prospect Union are committed to raising awareness of Asperger syndrome and Autistic Spectrum conditions and have been working closely with The National Autistic Society to provide a program of focussed training on supporting members, which most recently includes bespoke training for their new member enquiries team due to launch later in 2017.

On 10 May 2016, Prospect held a neurodiversity breakout workshop at their National Conference in Brighton. Speakers included Catherine Leggett, an employment consultant at The National Autistic Society, who gave an overview of the key features of autism and Asperger syndrome as they present in the workplace and a workshop on a case study to identify some best practice reasonable adjustments and strategies for support. The session created some great feedback from members who were positive about the opportunity to work through examples of workplace issues and solutions as well as being able to ask questions and discuss how to recruit and retain autistic talent in their workplaces.