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Ireland: National-level launch of EMSP’s Employment Toolkit


MS Ireland are set to launch an adapted version of EMSP’s Employment Toolkit for the benefit of those living with multiple sclerosis (MS) at national level.

The launch event, supported by corporate partners Novartis, is taking place on 2 June.

MS Ireland’s Chief Executive Ava Battles said that the Employment Toolkit aims to help people with MS make informed decisions about their working life. In this sense, she asked for the full support of all relevant stakeholders:

“Our ambition is that people with MS will be able to live the life of their choice to their fullest potential and we believe the opportunities to work in society, and to remain financially independent, are critical. Over the next few years, we need to help ensure that Ireland’s employment rates for people with MS become more in line with those in the rest of Europe.”

This intiative follows the publishing – in 2015 – of a Report on the Societal Costs of Multiple Sclerosis.

ms ireland

Some of the figures from the mentioned report show that much more remains to be done in Ireland, as is the case in most countries across Europe, to integrate people with MS in the workplace:

  • 9 out of 10 people with MS in Ireland are of working age;
  • The rate of employment for people with MS in Ireland is 17% lower than the European average (43% compared with an EU average of 60%);
  • Over 34% of people with MS have had to permanently withdraw from the workforce as a result of MS;
  • Total annual productivity losses in Ireland due to MS, amounts to €135.5 million;
  • Employment decreases significantly with increasing disease severity – 66% of those with severe MS have retired due to their condition, compared to 15.6% with mild MS.

This report concluded that, in Ireland, MS is associated with an annual societal cost of €429 million and the largest component of this relates to productivity losses from leaving work.

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