Case Management Protocols Final - NSS FAQ

1. As an employee, I am involved in a current case how do I know if it’s going ahead or not during COVID-19 pandemic?

Your line manager will speak with you and confirm the status of your case at this time and if you have any questions, you should contact your line manager in the first instance.

2. As a manager, I am currently taking forward an active case. Should this go ahead given the COVID-19 pandemic?

The NHSScotland Partnership Working Statement, and the NSS protocol on Case Management [attach link] should be followed in relation to all active cases.  You should contact your HR Case Advisor who is assigned to your case and they will provide you with an update on the category of your case.

3. As a manager, I have a potential new case, what should I do?

You should log a call through HR Contact Us on HR Connect. However, in line with the guidance, you should consider if alternative methods of dealing with the issue might be appropriate, before commencing a new case.  

4. As an employee, I wish to raise a new case, what should I do?

As an employee, where you have any issue at work e.g. grievance, an issue of Bullying and Harassment, Whilstleblowing etc. you should in the first instance speak to your line manager who will be able to support you in considering the approach you would like to take in line with NSS Policy.  Alternatively, an as appropriate, for those who are members of a Trade Union/Professional Organisation you can raise this with your local representative.  Employees can also log a call through the HR Contact Us on HR Connect and a member of the HR team will respond back.

5. How have the categories of the cases been determined?

All cases will be determined on a case by case basis using the categories below for general guidance and a risk based approach.


Cases that should progress and are deemed critical to continue due to having a potential detrimental impact to the employee or the organisation e.g. Suspension/Dismissal, Whistleblowing, Health & Safety, Bullying & Harassment, issues of pay or serious grievance e.g. allegations of Fraud.


Cases that can continue to be supported where possible but have less of a detrimental impact to the employee or the organisation Conduct (not likely to end in dismissal), less serious grievance e.g. complaint on process, Capability (based on ill health)



The likelihood of the impact of the case not progressing is determined as minimal it is therefore recommended that cases identified as a low category should follow option 3 within the managers guidance, which is to postpone until normal working arrangements have been resumed e.g. Attendance both long and short term, Capability (based on performance), review meetings

NB – it should be noted that issues of pay under the ‘High’ category relate to where there are implications for an employee’s pay e.g. half pay or no pay as part of a long term absence case and linked to Agenda for Change Section 14.

6. I have a member of staff on Long Term Sick Leave prior to COVID-19 what should I do?

It is important that Line Managers maintain contact with any employee currently on long term sick leave in line with the relevant Attendance Policy, which will either be the NSS Promoting Attendance Policy or the NHS Scotland Attendance Policy.  HR will be happy to advise if you are unclear on what policy you should be referring to.

7. An employee has objected with rationale to a process continuing, or pausing, what are my options?

All employees have the right to object to a process continuing where they are able to offer a rationale. If a process requires to be postponed, at the employees request, then a conversation should be captured as a record of discussion with the rationale provided and attached to the case file. Managers should also seek to agree the next steps once normal working arrangements resume.

8. I am trying to arrange a Hearing, what should I be considering?

As Chair of the Hearing, the following points should be considered when arranging a Hearing:

  • Consider individual personal circumstances for all attendees including employee, manager, trade union representative/Companion and witnesses, and in particular consideration should be given to whether they are already working in NSS buildings or from home, requirements for social distancing and the use of public transport
  • Agree meeting etiquette ahead of the meeting and share with all parties in a timely manner
  • Ensure all documentation can be circulated to participating members in a timely and confidential manner at all times
  • Ensure that the employee is able to communicate concerns ahead of the Hearing in order to try and put any reasonable support measures in place
  • That a face to face Hearing should only be conducted in exceptional circumstances and only when the case falls under the High category option. Where this is deemed necessary this will be taken forward only where all parties have agreed to do so and into consideration bullet point 1 above.
  • Seek advice from the HR Case Advisor where necessary.


9. I have an employee working through a Supported Improvement Plan (SIP) but the review meeting has been postponed, what should I do?

You should continue to engage with your member of staff to ensure that any additional adjustments and supported measures that are required during this time can be accommodated until such times as a full review meeting can take place.

10. I am a manager and my case has been postponed. What actions do I need to undertake?

You should ensure you communicate the position to the employee involved as quickly and as clearly as possible, ensure that they are agreeable to the postponement and offer additional support as appropriate.  You should seek any further advice from your assigned HR Advisor.

11. What support can NSS offer an employee at this time?

The services offered by NSS are our Occupational Health Service, contactable by telephone on 0131 275 6360, and the Employee Counselling Service, HELP contactable by telephone on 0800 032 9849.

The following link Employee Support Guides also provides current relevant guidance for employees.



  • Related Board:
    National Services Scotland