by Katharine McIntosh
Originally published: March 16, 2017
When Chris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) five years ago, his first reaction was that he would lose his job – but when he told his employers, they reassured him straight away that he would have a role with them for life.
Unfortunately, positive responses like this aren’t as common as we’d like to see. A recent survey carried out by the MS Society found 44% of working age people with MS are currently in employment. Another found that half (49%) disagree that most employers do as much as they can to support people with MS to stay in work.
MS is a neurological condition which affects more than 100,000 people in the UK. It particularly affects people of working age; most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40. Symptoms are unpredictable and fluctuate; ‘invisible’ symptoms – such as problems with eyesight, severe fatigue, cognitive issues and pain – mean employers and colleagues can often underestimate the impact of the condition on an individual.