Telling an employer that you are autistic: disclosing

You are not required to tell anyone about any disability, health problem, or difference

Because autism is an “invisible” condition (no one can easily know you’re autistic by looking at you, unlike some physical disabilities) you may only be able to access some of the potential benefits of disclosing by making the conscious decision to do so.

Why disclose

The main reason for telling an employer is to allow them to make changes to meet your needs

Unless the employer is aware of your autism, disability or other issue, they will not be required to make adjustments for you. If you do disclose, they are obliged to accommodate reasonable adjustments and you may be protected by discrimination laws. You may also find it easier to be yourself, as you won’t be trying to mask your condition.

But if you aren’t looking for your employer to do anything differently as a result of your disclosure, you may choose to withhold the information. For some people this is preferable, as they don’t like talking about their autism.

When to disclose

If you choose to disclose, you will have to decide when to do so: you can tell them at any point during the recruitment process, or once you have started work

If you do wish to tell your employer or manager about your autism, the options for when to tell them include:

  • In your application:
    This will give an employer plenty of time to find out about autism and consider how an autistic person could bring benefits to the workplace. You can explain how the job you have applied for will suit your skills, why you feel that autism will not affect your ability to do the job. It may allow them to think in advance about tailoring both the recruitment process and the job to suit your needs and make appropriate adjustments. If the employer talks about being inclusive in the advert and on their company website, or if you know other autistic employees who are getting on well in that c