NHS workplace stress related absence: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. Please provide the latest available measure for NHS workplace related absences generally and for NHS workplace stress related absence separately in the form of totals for NHS Scotland and by NHS Board Area.

2. Does NHS Scotland recognise workplace stress related absence as satisfying the definition contained within AfC clause 22.3.

3. Is a claim for injury allowance necessary to trigger an assessment against, and implementation of clause 14.6(second bullet point)?

4. Is the above noted requirement in clause 14.6 dependent on satisfying only the specified definition contained within clause 22.3 , i.e. without reference to any other other requirements within AfC clause 22.

5. Can NHS Scotland provide an example of where a claim for Injury Allowance (which provides 85% salary cover) would be relevant where the employee had not already utilised the full entitlement to 100% sick pay as defined by AfC when commencing sickness absence.


Below is a copy of some of the information requested. 

In answer to point 1 of your request, Official Statistics on NHS sickness absence in each health board are published annually by NHS Education for Scotland. The latest version, for 2020-21, is available at https://turasdata.nes.nhs.scot/workforce-official-statistics/nhsscotland-workforce/publications/07-september-2021/data-tables/?pageid=5367.

Absence data for the majority of the NHS Scotland workforce is recorded on SSTS (Scottish Standard Time System). For 2020-21, approximately 31% of recorded hours due to sickness absence on SSTS were logged against the code of ‘Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses’.

While the data used to derive this figure is not complete (as not all NHS Scotland Job Types use SSTS) it does provide an indication of absence levels related to Anxiety, Stress or Depression and is used in the normal course of business to inform operational delivery, policy development and the management of organisational performance.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for in points 2 – 5 (inclusive) because it is not responsible for (and does not provide advice on) these areas.

As per section 22.4 of the Agenda for Change Handbook (https://www.msg.scot.nhs.uk/wpcontent/uploads/Agenda-for-Change-Handbook-Master-Scottish-Copy-10-March-2020.pdf) “The attribution of injury, illness or other health condition will be determined by the employer who should seek appropriate medical advice”.

That is, the matter of decision making for Injury Allowance is reserved for individual NHS Scotland Health Boards (the employer).

This is therefore a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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