Belgium’s second “MS@Work” awards, designed to recognise companies and institutions that hire people with MS, saw Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters hand over awards to eight winning companies.
The politician presented six Belgian companies with a cash prize of 5,000 EUR and gave “honourable mentions” to two additional companies, each of whom received 1,250 EUR.
The awards were established by the Belgian Federal and Community MS Societies in 2015 to raise awareness of the importance of hiring and retaining people with MS, which, research has found, can improve the self-esteem and overall quality of life of people living with chronic conditions.
A Jury composed of neurologists, a social worker, an occupational therapist and persons with MS were initially presented with 34 applications, which they whittled down to six companies from three regions.
In his address, Vice Prime Minister Kris Peeters summarised the major initiatives of the Federal Government in the field of “support for persons with chronic diseases”. He also congratulated the winners and emphasised the exemplary role of enterprises that strive to adapt the working conditions for people affected by a chronic disease, for example through flexible working arrangements and resting spaces.
The ceremony was attended by delegations from the award-winning companies and institutions and by representatives of the MS societies, employers’ organisations, and the media.