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People with MS lack occupational support

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People with multiple sclerosis are missing out on 18 years of their working lives due to a lack of support, a report has said.

The Work Foundation has urged the government to take action to curb the “needless” loss, with many multiple sclerosis sufferers not receiving the support needed to get them back into work.

It said increasing work support for people with multiple sclerosis benefits all, improving the life of those affected and making big savings in the welfare bill.

The Work Foundation called on employers to be more aware of issues facing people with multiple sclerosis, with sufferers often reluctant to tell their bosses about their condition, meaning they miss out on interventions such as flexible working and modifications to the workplace.

The report’s author, Stephen Bevan, said: “The UK is not doing enough to support people with MS to stay in work. At present, 44% of people with MS retire early - many more than the European average of 35%.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “All jobseekers, including those suffering from MS, will get the tailored help and support they need to get back to work through our new Work Programme, regardless of the barriers they face.”

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