An image of a desk in an office with an anonymous workers hands in front of a computer.

New report shows MS forcing many newly diagnosed out of work

Half the people living with MS in the UK who aren’t currently employed were forced to stop working within three years of their diagnosis according to a report released today.

The MS International Federation’s (MSIF) Global Employment Report 2016 also claims fatigue, cognitive impairment and mobility issues are the most common symptoms forcing people with MS to stop working.

A quarter of the people surveyed in the UK who weren't working said they’d given up their job within a year of their diagnosis. Another 26% of that group said they’d stopped working within three years. A previous study reported 80% of people with MS had left employment within 15 years of being diagnosed.

Getting the right support

Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive, said:

“Lots of people have told us how they’ve been unable to return to work because they didn’t get the right support.

“Similarly, many have said they didn’t receive the support they needed while in work, or have even faced discrimination because of their condition.

“If employers are able to offer reasonable adjustments –- such as flexible or reduced hours – it could help thousands more people stay in work.”

Gathering evidence

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for MS is looking into whether people with MS have the support they need to stay in, or get back into, work. The APPG has been gathering evidence from people with MS and will be making recommendations in autumn 2016.

The MSIF is a global network of MS organisations we are part of. It surveyed more than 12,000 people in 93 countries to compile the report.

We will be campaigning about employment and MS later in the year as part of our MS: Enough campaign. Help us do it and keep up to date with all our campaigns.