You are not logged in

Case Study

Stress Management - 11% Improvement in Stress Sickness Absence

The Client

ScottishPower Energy Retail is an international energy company  focused on growth, safety and service. It is one of the UK's top customer service suppliers of gas and electricity with around 5.2 million customers.

The Problem

ScottishPower Energy Retail is taking a dynamic and systematic approach to reducing work-related stress, as advocated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Work-related stress is a major factor in occupational ill health and the chief cause of absence in many industries. Scottish Power recognised the numerous business benefits of tackling work related stress. The business benefits include:

  • Reduced sickness absence
  • Reduced turnover
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved staff morale and job satisfaction
  • Improved management practices
  • Ensuring compliance to Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Positive company image

What We Did

HSL worked in partnership with ScottishPower to implement the HSE Management Standards. HSL ensured a service tailored to their organisational needs and requirements, with flexibility to allow ScottishPower to make an informed decision about the available options that best suited their timescales, resources and aims.

HSL put forward a team of competent professionals, who work to a recognised professional code of conduct and within ethical guidelines. The team consisted of experts who helped HSE to develop the Stress Management Standards. They fully understand the issues of work-related stress, and have experience in all stages of implementing the process, including data collection and focus group facilitation. Using this team ensured ScottishPower had access to the latest knowledge and information from HSE on this issue and approach.

The Management Standards is a framework for managing stress and the associated risk assessment and provides a step-by-step approach that helped ScottishPower to identify the levels of stress in the departments reviewed and to devise interventions to reduce stress among employees across ScottishPower Energy.

Key HSL activities included:

  • Educating and training the steering group on the Management Standards Approach
  • Provision of 4500 electronic questionnaires hosted on HSL secure site
  • Analysing results of questionnaires
  • Facilitating 40 focus groups and analysing the resulting data
  • Presenting to senior management on each step
  • Producing recommendations for a practical action plan
  • Prioritising interventions as appropriate
  • Monitoring and reviewing action plans to assess effectiveness


  • Improvements will be long term, but since the start of implementing the Management Standards Scottish Power have reported an 11% improvement in stress sickness absence.
  • Development of a practical strategy for future improvements to managing work-related stress
  • Progress towards taking proactive steps to tackle work related stress at an organisational level

Downloadable pdf of case study

Back to Case Studies

Back to the top