In 2015, the Belgian Federal and Community MS Societies launched the MS@WORK AWARDS, a prize that recognizes companies and institutions who hire persons diagnosed with MS. Indeed, research has revealed that “being employed”, mainly for people with a chronic illness, generates both a greater sense of self-esteem and appreciation from colleagues.
The 2nd annual awards ceremony took place on October 18, 2017. Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumers, Kris Peeters, handed over the MS@WORK AWARDS 2017 to 8 companies selected from 34 applications. Applicants were affiliates who had been invited to consider nominating their employer.
The jury, which was composed of neurologists, a social worker, an occupational therapist and persons with MS selected 6 companies originated from the three Belgian Regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Capital-City Brussels. Each of them received a money prize of 5.000 EUR. Two additional “honourable mentions”, each with a prize money of 1,250 EUR, were also granted. The number of awards given illustrates the quality of the applications and the dedication of many employers to address the quality of life of employees with chronic diseases.
In his address, Vice Prime Minister, Kris Peeters summarized the major initiatives of the Federal Government in the field of “support to persons with chronic diseases”. He also congratulated the winners and emphasized the exemplary role of enterprises striving to adapt the working conditions for people affected by a chronic disease: flexible working time, work from home if needed, resting space, to mention a few.
Representatives from the award-winning companies and institutions, as well as by from the MS Societies and from employers’ organizations and media were all present at the event.
Once again, three cheers and congratulations to the winners!