Most employers provide paid bereavement leave to staff, according to a survey of 634 organisations by XpertHR. The most common approach for determining the amount of paid leave is to make it dependent on the employee’s relationship with the deceased.
For example, the most common approach is to provide five days’ paid leave for the closest relationships, such as spouses and civil partners; three days’ for less close relationships such as grandparents; and one day for in-laws and cousins. Few employers offer more than ten days’ paid bereavement leave.
A minority of employers ask for proof of bereavement before granting leave and the majority take steps to ensure cases are handled sensitively, for example, by providing guidance to line managers and making affected employees aware of any available employee assistance programmes.
XpertHR's Managing Editor for Pay and HR practice, Sheila Attwood, said:
'Knowing that they have access to paid time off will ease the burden on employees during a difficult time. Many organisations also allow some flexibility to their policy, operating with sympathy and trust to help to prevent any further stress for affected employees.'