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Equality North East

Supporting bereaved employees takes more than just policies

Surprisingly, not all employers have a bereavement policy. Of those that do, the period of time off after suffering a loss varies, and is at the employer’s discretion. Leave tends to be between a few days to up to a week, with employees getting the longest time off for close family members. The loss of a friend will, at most, allow one day off to attend the funeral. While this can help an employee to focus on arrangements and the funeral itself, it is often once the funeral has taken place that they require additional support. Shock or the sheer exhaustion of dealing with a protracted illness can have a severe impact. While some people will appreciate the structure and distraction of work, many others suffer from anxiety and depression following bereavement.

With more staff staying in the workplace for much longer than previous generations, this is a situation that managers and HR professionals will encounter increasingly often. The question is: what more can employers do to assist at such a difficult time?

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November 13, 2017

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