Employers’ guide to multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system – where the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms. Symptoms usually start in the 20's and 30's and affects almost three times as many women as men.
Impact of multiple sclerosis
Everyone’s MS is different – most people will have relapses and remissions. Remissions may last a few weeks to a few years. Some people will experience just one episode of MS while others will be very debilitated in a relatively short period of time.
Symptoms vary from person to person but may include such things as difficulties with balance, fatigue, bladder problems, stiffness, spasms, pain, blurred or double vision.
Recruiting people with multiple sclerosis
- As MS can manifest itself in different ways, ask the applicant what adjustments, if any, are required for the interview.
- Consider adjustments for the selection process – for example accommodate for slurred speech if the process involves a telephone screening interview, or allow more time in group activities with assessment centres.
- Does the the individual need any aids and adaptations as part of the recruitment process. If so, contact Access to Work (external site).
Supporting staff who have multiple sclerosis
- Discuss with the employee their particular requirements in the workplace.
- Flexible working to allow an employee to manage fatigue and/or hospital appointments.
- Provision of a parking space near to the workplace entrance.
- Regular breaks to allow the employee to manage their condition – for example to take regular medication.
- Contact Access to Work (external site) for advice workplace adaptations.
- Regular reviews of adjustments to ensure their ongoing suitability.
Useful information about multiple sclerosis
You might need to make some adjustments to help your employees. These could include specialist equipment like chairs and IT equipment. Grants are available through Access to Work (external site) to help to cover the cost of items that are identified as necessary to support employees who are disabled or have a health condition.