More than a third of adults with autism have experienced discrimination or bullying in the workplace, a survey has revealed.

The survey of adults with autism currently in paid employment by the National Autistic Society (NAS) found that 43% of respondents said they have left or lost a job because of their condition. Only 19% said they had no experience of bullying, unfairness or lack of support at work. Meanwhile, a picture emerged of people with autism not being supported as well as they would like in the workplace. The NAS’ survey found that only 10% have employment support, despite 53% saying they would like it.

In addition, 32% said the support or adjustments made by their employer/manager in relation to their autism are poor. Colleagues were not much better, with 30% of respondents saying the support or adjustments made by them in relation to their autism is poor.

David Perkins, manager of the NAS’ employment service, Prospects, said: “It is unacceptable in the current economic climate that some employers are failing to put reasonable support in place to keep adults with autism in work and off benefits. “It needs to be nationally understood and accepted that bullying or discrimination of any kind in the workplace is deplorable and bullying or discriminating against a colleague because of their disability is tantamount to anti-disability abuse. We urge employers across the UK to make sure their offices have an 'autism-friendly' ethos; otherwise we risk failing thousands of willing and able workers.”