Employment: Autism

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what stage her discussions have reached with the Office for National Statistics on including the number of autistic people in work as a recordable characteristic in the labour force survey; and when that recordable characteristic will be included in that survey.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Following testing in late 2019, the Office for National Statistics has added a measure of autism to the Labour Force Survey questionnaire for interviews carried out from January 2020 onwards and I welcome this development. In time, this will give us a better understanding of the employment status for many people with autism as a long standing health condition. It is anticipated that early data will be available from May 2020, however, numbers are likely to be low to start with and it may be longer before numbers are high enough to support further analysis of the data.

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