Working Health Services Scotland

NHS support and referral service for staff absent - or at risk of absence - from work due to health conditions

Working Health Services Scotland

If any of your employees has a health condition which is impacting on their work, they could benefit from Working Health Services Scotland (WHSS).  

WHSS provides free and confidential advice and health support for the self-employed and people working in companies with less than 250 employees.

About WHSS

The service aims to help:

  • employees manage their condition and remain at work
  • a return to work if a short period of sickness absence occurs
  • prevent them having further periods of sickness.

Where necessary, the programme can provide quick access to:

  • counselling
  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy.

Who it helps 

Employees can refer themselves to WHSS. To be eligible for this service your employee must be:

  • self-employed, at work or absent from work for any length of time
  • employed by a company of 250 employees or less and been at work or absent for any length of time.

How it helps

Employees will be assigned a case manager to help them through the process. A case manager will:

  • complete a comprehensive assessment
  • develop an action plan
  • co-ordinate treatment
  • liaise with GPs, if required, and other relevant professionals.

The case manager may also provide signposting to services for help and advice on issues such as:

  • housing
  • employment
  • debt management.

All treatments and interventions are delivered in local community venues whenever possible.


You can refer yourself for the service using the self-referral form on the Salus website.


Longer-term absences

If you or an employee has been - or is likely to be - absent for 4 weeks or longer, find out more from our Supporting a return to work page.

Role of the employer

As an employer, you have an important role to play in supporting your workers to:

  • remain in work when experiencing ill health 
  • encourage them to return to work as soon as possible from a period of absence.

WHSS is a free and confidential service for your member of staff. But we encourage you and your workers to engage in open and honest discussions about what would help them remain in or return to work before you refer them to WHSS.  

Staff with health conditions can explain: 

  • how their condition impacts upon their work
  • what would help them to continue to work. Some temporary or permanent adjustments to their work activities or routine may be enough to keep staff in employment.