Employment and Work

If you’re wondering if people with Multiple Sclerosis can or should or shouldn’t be working you’re not alone! Every MSer is different and everyone’s needs and interests and capabilities are different. 

When a diagnosis of MS is made you may be in work, or looking for work, or retired, or “off sick”. On your journey with MS your situation may change several times. Getting good advice and support is important. And there is quite a lot out there!

A great source of information and shared stories is a publication from the MS Trust called At Work with MS. It can be read online where it is interspersed with videos and MSers telling their story. To look at it click HERE.

The MS Society also has good information HERE They have a booklet called Work and MS which is aimed both at MSers and employers. You can download or order a copy HERE

If you are in work, you may wonder about telling colleagues and bosses about your MS. This isn't always easy and the people at shift.ms have produced a brilliant film highlighting some of the issues. Have a look at it HERE. shift.ms also have a YouTube channel with other films of interest. Click HERE to have a look.

There is legislation that gives people with long term conditions or disability some protection. To find out what your rights are go to the Government website HERE 

The Government also has ideas about looking for work if you have a disability. Click HERE

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) runs a support service called Access to Work. If you are eligible you can get a range of support like aids and equipment in your workplace, help with travel costs and so on. Click HERE for the DWP site. The contact point for all of Scotland is in Glasgow. For more information call 0141 950 5327. A real person will answer and take you through the process of applying for help. Access to Work has recently been described as the “best kept secret” so clearly it is not being well promoted but if you think the scheme could help you, do contact them.

The NHS have a webpage of useful information with the emphasis on work and health. Click HERE to see it.

So what’s happening in Moray?

Locally there is help available from Disability Employment Advisors at the Job Centre. Call 0845 6043719, option 7, then ask for the Elgin office. Or click HERE to locate your nearest job centre.

Disability Employment Advisers
A Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre can help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability friendly employers in your area.
They can also refer you to a specialist work psychologist (who is based in Moray), if appropriate, or carry out an ‘employment assessment’, asking you about:
  • your skills and experience
  • what kind of roles you’re interested in

The Moray Council will also help via their Employment Support and Training team. Call 01343 563866.

The Moray Resource Centre can also help. When you visit and “join” the centre you can be teamed up with a support worker who can advise on all sorts of things including work and employment.

Your employer can get information and guidance on making the workplace a healthy and safe place. The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives has a website. Click HERE to see it.

If things don’t go well and you are a member of a trade union, remember that they will often be able to give you support if your employer isn’t. Information from the TUC is available HERE You can download a booklet on Disability and Work.

And don’t forget other sources of support if work related issues are a headache for you. Speak to your GP or the MS Specialist Nurse. Or speak to other MSers so that you can learn from other people’s experience - one of the Support Groups may help!

And work doesn’t have to be paid employment. A lot of MSers find that voluntary work is good for the body and soul. It doesn’t pay the bills of course but just because you’re an MSer doesn’t mean you can’t live a rich life. For information about the so-called Third Sector (that is, not the private or public sectors) in Moray contact the Third Sector Interface  - TSI Moray - (I know...terrible jargon!) 01343 541713. Their office is at 30-32 High Street Elgin IV30 1BU

Finally, the American MS Society have produced a number of videos on the theme of MS and Work. Although they obviously reflect US culture and society there are a number of really useful points made in these films and they are well worth watching. Below are links to three of them on the themes of Fatigue, Disclosure and Cognitive problems. Have a look...

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video