Working with MS

Working and living with MS

Can I keep working if I have multiple sclerosis? This is one of the most common questions we receive from our Clients when they first receive a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

Read on as we answer this, and other, common questions we receive about finding and maintaining employment while living with MS.

For further information on how MSWA can assist and support those living with MS to succeed in the workforce, see our Employment Support Services.

Man sitting on a motorised scooter while with his daughter on a bicycle and a dog.

Can I keep working if I have MS?

With today’s improved treatments, many people living with multiple sclerosis can maintain their quality of life and continue with normal activities, such as going to work.

Employment can provide financial stability, a sense of purpose and achievement and social interaction. Staying in the workforce can make a positive difference to your quality of life.

Everyone’s experience with MS is different. Like many others living with MS, you may find you can keep working for the foreseeable future.


Do I need to tell my employer if I have MS?

No, you’re not obliged to disclose your MS to your employer unless your MS symptoms may cause an occupational health and safety risk to you or others.

MSWA’s Employment Support Service can help you decide how and when you want to take this step and provide you with strategies for communicating clearly with your employer.


What are my employment rights if I have MS?

It is illegal in Australia to discriminate against an employee on grounds of their disability. However, an employer can refuse to employ you if your disability prevents you from performing the requirements of the job. The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides more information about the laws that protect you from discrimination.

As your condition changes, your employer is required to make adjustments to the workplace, work conditions or the tasks inherent in the role to make it possible for you to continue your employment. MSWA's Employment Support Service can support you in this process.


What workplace adjustments can I seek if I have MS?

There are a range of workplace adjustments that you may be able to request if you are living with MS. These include:

Rosters and working hours

  • Part-time working arrangements
  • Roster changes to avoid commuting during peak hours
  • More frequent breaks during the day
  • Working from home
  • Time off for medical appointments

Physical working environment

  • Position workstation away from hot areas of the workplace
  • Desk fan
  • Chair or stool if your job involves a lot of standing
  • Ergonomic assessment to assess chair, desk and IT equipment

Change of role

  • Transfer to a position that is less physically demanding
  • Retraining if required

If you’re concerned about managing your MS and your job, take a look at our Employment Support Service to explore the various options and strategies that may be available to you.

Our team can not only assist you in managing your MS to ensure you can still effectively perform the duties of your role, but they can also refer you to other MSWA services such as occupational therapy to manage the general issues related to workplace set up.


If you'd like to find out more about how MSWA's services and support, please fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.