Autistic people bring a range of strengths, interests and skills to the workforce but face barriers finding, maintaining and engaging in employment.
Employment is an important part of our lives – it provides financial security, social connection, maintains mental health and wellbeing, and builds our self-esteem.
However, for Autistic people, the path to employment can be challenging. In Australia, the unemployment rate for Autistic people is 34% – more than eight times that of people without disability, and three times the rate of people with disability generally.
Autistic people bring unique strengths, skills and talents to the workforce. As we look to a future that is more complex than ever, the genuine diversity of thinking that Autistic people offer can drive innovation and create positive, inclusive change in Australia.
There are many services and programs can assist Autistic people to find and keep work.
Services funded by the Australian Government to support people with disability access employment in the open labour market include:
Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because of a personal characteristic. This includes: during the recruitment process, when determining terms and conditions of employment and when identifying employees for promotion or demotion, transfer, training, retrenchment or dismissal.
Discrimination can take the form of:
In the law, autism is grouped under disability discrimination. In Australia, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they have, or you think they may have, a disability.
People with disability are protected under three laws:
For more information on autism and employment – including strategies to navigate the workplace’s hidden codes of behaviour and supports and services in Victoria – contact the Amaze Autism Connect advisors on 1300 308 699, email [email protected] or use the webchat on this site.
This service is open from 8am–7pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
Jones, S, Muhammad A, Murphy, PM, Vickers, N 2019, ‘Autism and Employment’, Australia’s Attitudes & Behaviours towards Autism; and Experiences of Autistic People and Their Families. Melbourne, Amaze. Autism and Employment in Australia.