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Quotas, and Anti-discrimination Policies relating to Autism in the EU: Scoping Review and Policy Mapping in Germany, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Danielle Bunt, Robin van Kessel, Rosa Hoekstra, Katarzyna Czabanowska, C Brayne, Simon Baron-Cohen, Andres Roman-Urrestarazu

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1417
Number of pages21
JournalAutism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Issue number8
Published1 Aug 2020

King's Authors


The low employment rates of persons with Autism Spectrum Conditions in the European Union (EU) are partly due to discrimination. Member States have taken different approaches to increase the employment rate in the recent decades, including quota and anti-discrimination legislation, however, the implications for people with autism are unknown. The purpose of this scoping review was to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of these employment policies, from seven EU Member States (Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom [prior to exit], Slovakia, Poland, and Romania), exploring the interdependence on international and EU policies, using a path dependency analysis. The results indicate that internationally a shift in focus has taken place in the direction of anti-discrimination law, though employment quotas remained in place in six out of the seven Member States as a means to address employment of people with disability in combination with the new anti-discrimination laws. Lay summary: Discrimination is partially responsible for the low employment of people with autism. Several approaches have been taken in recent years, such as anti-discrimination laws and setting a mandatory number of people with disabilities that need to be employed. This study finds that, internationally and in the European Union, the focus was initially on the use of quotas and gradually moved to anti-discrimination, with both being used simultaneously. Autism Res 2020, 13: 1397–1417.

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