Stress management, sickness absence and costs for stress related absence: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/02831  
Date received: 24 September 2018  
Date responded: 30 October 2018
Information requested

1) Numbers of staff employed in financial years 2005/06 and 2017/18.

2) Numbers of stress related absences in the financial years 2005/06 and for 2017/18.

3) *Sickness absence costs incurred in relation to all sickness absence for financial years 2005/06 and for 2017/18.

4) *Sickness absence costs in relation to stress related illnesses for the same periods, 2005/16 and 2017/18.

5) Information on steps that the Scottish Government has taken to manage stress at work such as implementing the HSE Stress Management Standards.

6) The date that the Scottish Government first carried out a workplace stress risk assessment and dates of subsequent review.

* If it is not possible to provide an indication of financial costs please provide days lost to your organisation if that information is available.


Questions 1-4:

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible in this instance some of the information you have requested is not held by us. We do not hold sickness absence data for the financial year 2005/2006.

The information you have requested for the financial year 2017/2018 is provided in the table below. Additionally information on sickness and staffing is available in our quarterly publication which can be found here

Questions 5&6:

5. The Scottish Government updated the stress information available to its staff through the internal intranet site in 2017. There is a Stress e-learning module available to all staff. HR have introduced a Stress Reduction Plan for staff who are experiencing stress symptoms and this is based on the HSE Stress Management Standards. In 2018 Scottish Government has created a Wellbeing team to develop a strategic approach to supporting staff.

6. Every year SG staff complete the Civil Service People Survey and within this survey there are several questions based on the HSE Stress Management Standards. Business areas review and take action on the results of their Survey, supported by HR where particular issues emerge. Stress is identified in the generic risk assessments for Office Duties with information on how to seek appropriate support.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at
foi-18-02831 Table and notes


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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