MS advocate Emma Rogan is EMSP’s Lead Coordinator for our newest employment-focused project, Ready for Work, which we will run in collaboration with The Work Foundation. In this blog piece, Emma is promoting the concept of workability. She is also welcoming comments and suggestions from EMSP’s partners and supporters.

 

There is so much more to work than ‘work’. Having a job is rehabilitative, bringing social connection and financial independence. Research has shown that the right work is good for people with multuple sclerosis (MS) [1]. EMSP has partnered with The Work Foundation and sponsored by Novartis International on a project focused on ‘workability’ within the clinical environment.

What is workability?

How does the language clinicians use about work affect people with MS?

It is about brain health, the positive effects on cognitive function and how healthcare professionals (neurologists, nurses, occupational therapists, counselors) discuss, or do not discuss, the issue of work with their patients.

EMSP has highlighted the issues people with MS have accessing employment with a number of projects including the European Employment Pact and the internship programme Believe and Achieve (B&A).

Promoting Positive Work Outcomes for Europeans with MS

This project is looking at the potential impact that discussions on employment with clinicians can have on the work-life and career progression of people with MS.

We welcome your input in development of this project, particularly if you are a healthcare professional or work on employment policy.

On our website and social media channels we will be sharing a number of reports and articles about work, wellbeing, chronic illness and MS. Watch out for updates in the coming months as the project progresses.

Who is The Work Foundation

The Work Foundation transforms people’s experience of work and the labour market through research that “empowers individuals and influences public policy and organisational practices”. They focus on:

  • Premature work loss – which reduces the productive capacity of the workforce. If people then receive disability benefits there is a two-fold increased cost to society as there is a reduction in taxes paid by that individual and they are receiving benefits from the state.
  • Early intervention for people with MS – which can reduce the severity of the effects of the condition. For many people this is impossible, causing even greater hardship;
  •  The carers of people with MS – who are  also adversely affected, again negatively impacting the workforce.

[1] The Work Foundation (2011)| Ready to Work? Meeting the Employment and Career Aspirations of People with MS http://www.theworkfoundation.com/Reports/289/Ready-to-Work-Meeting-the-employment-and-career-aspirations-of-people-with-Multiple-Sclerosis

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