In March 2019, Workplace Alliance published an article highlighting how one of our valued employees, Daniel Atkins manages his MS and thrives in the workplace in spite of his MS diagnoses. Here is a recap and update on how Daniel continues to impress and inspire all of us at Workplace Alliance with his can do attitude and determination.
“Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is often misunderstood by employers” according to Workplace Alliance’s newest team member Daniel Atkins.
Daniel joined the Workplace Alliance team as fully operational Maintenance Fitter, operating out of Godfrey Hirst in Geelong.
Having completed his apprenticeship in 2012, and after being made redundant after his previous employer shut down operations locally, Daniel has not only successfully managed his MS, but also the unsubstantiated concerns and assumptions of future employers. “I’ve had a number of employers knock me back after letting them know I have MS. I even had one employer tell me that I was too much of an OH&S risk even though I have a spotless employment record and 3 days off work since being diagnosed in 2010. Other employers just didn’t ring me back” Daniel explains.
A chance meeting connected Daniel with Workplace Alliance Managing Director Wayne Allan, who also acted as Daniel’s supervisor during his apprenticeship. Wayne says “Daniel is a welcomed new team member who offers great skill, enthusiasm and experience to our company.”
Daniel has worked with Wayne, his supervisor and the team to ensure they are aware and understand his disease. “I take responsibility for my disease and the quality and safety of my work” Daniel explains. “Wayne and my supervisor Craig have been great in giving me this opportunity. The only thing they have requested of me is to keep them informed of how I am and anything else that may impact on my role. It has lifted my spirits to be doing the work I love, and can still do at a high level.”
Daniel’s message to employers considering employing someone with a disease or disability such as MS is simple. “Talk to the person first to understand the disease or disability and whether the they feel they are capable of doing the work at the level you require.”
Wayne’s advice is also simple “Give people like Daniel a go. Workplace Alliance has an opportunity and a moral compass that points to giving people like Daniel a chance. Workplace Alliance, Daniel and our team will benefit from this experience and others like it. We all have limitations, it is up to all of us to understand and work with each other to manage and minimise every limitation. Doing this enables us to get the best out of each moment and each other.”
Daniel continues to inspire the team at Workplace Alliance and continues to deliver great work outcomes as he and the team manage his MS.
A father of two beautiful children with one due any day, Daniel says he loves the work he undertakes at Workplace Alliance. “This is the best place I’ve ever worked. I love the type of work, the variety, but most of all, as a father I also love the pay.” Daniel says.
A keen gardener, Daniel says MS can be overwhelming and there are days that I struggle, but I feel the team and the organisation has my back and has been understanding and supportive of my MS management plan. “I feel safe, valued and supported”
Daniel’s work ethic and skill base has been recognised by Workplace Alliance with Daniel working on many projects and having his role progressing in the organisation.
Workplace Alliance is big on providing opportunities for people of all abilities and backgrounds.
Managing Director, Wayne Allan said “We are working on a number of community projects including working closely with Geelong Cats legend Matt Stokes to provide opportunities for local indigenous youth through his SEEKER.Global program.”
“We (Workplace Alliance) believe in the circular economy in supporting local business and community, providing opportunities for those who need our support and belief. We see Daniel as a role model and his story inspires us to do more.” Wayne says
Workplace Alliance is an Australian-based company offering extensive industrial engineering support services, including Facilities Maintenance to businesses in a range of industries across the globe.