“ACT NOW TO KEEP PEOPLE WITH MS IN WORK”

David Rees, Assembly Member for Aberavon, is calling on the Welsh Government to provide the right support to people living with MS and their employers so that they can stay in work. Hundreds of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Wales are leaving work early, never to return, due to a lack of support from the NHS and their employers, according to a report published by MS Society Cymru and the Work Foundation.

David Rees AM said:

“MS is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults and an estimated 100,000 people in the UK have MS. Unfortunately, many people living with MS in Wales have to leave work early which represents a massive loss of talent and potential.

People with MS don’t want to leave the jobs they love early and once they leave, particularly in the current jobs market, it can be very difficult to find further work.

I will continue to work with the MS Society to ensure that people affected by MS in Aberavon receive the treatments and support they need top stay in employment.”

The reports reveals the staggering number of people living with MS who are forced to leave work early, but who could be contributing to society for years more if support was available.

Multiple Sclerosis has a negative effect on someone’s chances of holding employment. On average 44% of people with MS retire early due to their condition, yet the European average is 9% lower at 35%. This means that there are 300 Welsh people living with MS, who if they lived elsewhere in Europe would still be in work.

Judi Rhys, Director for MS Society Cymru, said:

“Hundreds of people living with MS are leaving employment unnecessarily, never to return, because they don’t have the right support to stay in their roles.

“This is a huge waste of money and talent.”