Health and work strategy: review report

The report from the review of the Scottish Government's health and work strategy.

Appendix II

Employee Persona: An Example

Name: Theme 3: Supporting those with a health condition to return quickly to work


Role : Employee

Digital Use:



I may have a specific impairment e.g. bipolar or depression or I may have multiple morbidity (several conditions all impacting on one another).

I may have had high sickness record over time or my sickness may have suddenly started to deteriorate, before now having control.

I may feel bad/ guilty about leaving other people to cover for me while I am off and therefore putting pressure on myself to return.

Performance & Capability

My performance may have dipped before I went off sick and I may feel I will need to deliver to the same level.

There could be outstanding HR policies still to reach their conclusion e.g. capability or discipline.

The organisation may query whether I can do the job I was recruited to perform.


I may feel dread or really uncomfortable about returning, but I feel I have no option since I need to earn money and retain my current job.

I may have debt problems that are causing me to return to work before I am able to adequately perform.

Fear of return to work

I may feel my work caused my illness and therefore really want to move to a new job.

I may recognise that the workload I was getting through was unsustainable and fear having to go try it again.

I may have a work colleague or manager or customer/ client who I feel caused my mental health to deteriorate.

I may need to return to work in a phased approach, maybe with shorter hours.

I may feel worried to return to work as I may not feel as though I am still a valued member of staff.


I may need to have help to get to work and home again.

Work hours may need to be adjusted to allow me to get to work.

I may not be able to work for long periods without a break.

I may be unable to concentrate for the same amount of time as I did previously.

Staff may feel empathy to me or they may feel that before I went off sick and since then they have been required to work harder and so they may not be too welcoming to see me again thinking that they will need to "carry" me. Staff may feel I am getting special treatment and have negative feelings about that.

Peer support

My employer may wish to hold on to me, so I may need help in trying to identify all the skills I have that could be transferrable to another position within the company.

I may need a mentor or a colleague to assist me because half the time I'm too stressed to think straight.

I am concerned that my employer may not provide me with a sufficient handover on return to work.

Needs and Goals

Based on the box above:

  • Where can the government intervene to overcome the challenges identified?
  • What simple practical changes, if introduced, would make a big difference in the number of people feeling well at work?
  • Where can the employee get help?
  • What is the type of help that the employee would benefit from?
  • Are there local or national changes that could make it easier?
  • Is there something more that the public sector should do?
  • Is there something that the public sector should stop doing?
  • Is there something we should/ could do to motivate employers ... in different sectors?



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