What is Bereavement Leave?

By Abhishek Kathpal | Updated 28 July, 2022

For a business to achieve its goals, the task involvement of its personnel is essential. And this entails the employee participating in the assigned task actively and diligently. However, certain life events (like the loss of a loved one) might have an impact on how mentally and physically engaged individuals are at work. It becomes crucial to implement preventative measures, such as bereavement leaves, to assist and motivate such an employee.

What is Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave meaning and definition

When a loved one or family member passes away, employees may be entitled to bereavement leave or compassionate leave of 3 to 7 days to give them time to grieve, make funeral arrangements, and attend the service. It gives workers the emotional breathing room they require to effectively handle the practical and emotional effects of a family member's death. It's a proactive step that is essential for promoting mental fitness, both at work and elsewhere.

How does bereavement leave work?

There are no rules requiring employers to give employees bereavement leave, but most employers do it out of sympathy for the employee's suffering and to give them time to grieve, participate in religious rituals, or complete any necessary formalities.The employee who requests compassionate leave must notify their employer as soon as possible. They must also specify how much leave they will be taking or anticipate taking, as well as when they will take it. The employer may occasionally seek documentation to support the need for compassionate leave (for example, a death or funeral notice or statutory declaration). At some point, companies may decide whether to offer bereavement leave benefits or not. Employees do, however, have several options if the firm does not provide bereavement leave, including the choice to work from home or take a few days off.

What ought to be covered by a bereavement policy?

A well-designed bereavement leave policy gives staff members and supervisors direction on how to handle time off during a difficult period. Idealistically, the policy is detailed in an employee handbook alongside other types of employee leave (such as sick leave, family leave, vacation, etc.). The following should be included at the very least in a written bereavement leave policy:

a) What circumstances necessitate bereavement leave, particularly if you have distinct rules for close and extended family members;

b) how many days can employees use for mourning;

c) if the leave is unpaid or paid;

d) guidelines for seeking time off and all necessary paperwork;

e) which software to use for requesting and monitoring leave.

Bereavement Pay

Bereavement pay is computed using the hourly rate that was in effect at the time of the absence; it does not include any additional income, including commissions, bonuses, overtime, or shift differentials.

About the Author

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder at Longlist.io. Funded by US based OnDeck, Longlist is currently enabling 50+ businesses to increase their candidate and client reach outs, automating the workflow across stages.