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MS is different for everyone. The different symptoms someone may experience at different times and the impact of the symptoms on working life will very much depend on the type of work, and personal experience of MS.

The rights of people with multiple sclerosis in the workplace and when looking for employment are covered by the Equality Act. This protects people with MS from any form of discrimination from the point of diagnosis. One of the key provision of the Act is that employers are expected to consider making 'reasonable adjustments' for employees with MS. There is no precise definition for what constitutes a 'reasonable adjustment' but examples might include changing working hours.

A person is not required to tell their employer about their condition unless there are specific health and safety risks, however adjustments cannot be made unless an employer has been told and early disclosure can be vital if effective and optimal support is to be obtained.

The Work Foundation report identified three key points that can help people with MS in the workplace:

  • Take control, think proactively about your work and the adjustments you need to work effectively.
  • Be assertive, tell your employer about your MS as early as possible so that you can get timely access to support at work. If you let people know early on, you will be more able to organise the best, most effective support.
  • Educate colleagues, take an active role in telling your coworkers about MS and how it affects you, and let them know how changes to your working time and practices will help you to work effectively.

Last updated: 12 August 2014
This page will be reviewed within three years