09 January 2014 #Employment
A report by the charity, National Council for Palliative Care, has called for the government to introduce statutory bereavement leave for when a close relative dies.
The report found that a third of workers bereaved in the last five years did not feel their employer treated them with compassion. It suggests that as well as statutory bereavement leave, a few kind words of condolence by a manager can go a long way to helping a bereaved employee.
There is currently no statutory right to paid bereavement leave. Employees do however have a right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with unforeseen matters and emergencies involving a dependent, which includes leave to arrange and attend a funeral.
Employers may have a compassionate leave policy. This can be helpful in ensuring consistency of approach. Otherwise employers should take a reasonable and consistent approach.