Understanding bereavement leave

Home Articles Absence Understanding bereavement leave
a
angelic hen

The government decided against including a statutory right to bereavement leave in the Children and Families Act 2014 on the grounds that they felt it was ‘not feasible’ to legislate for such leave and that it preferred a more flexible approach of non-statutory guidance. Bereavement is a highly emotional experience to which individual’s respond differently, and at varying speeds, depending on shock, distress and general emotional well-being prior to the bereavement. As such, it is understandable why the government chose to go down the ‘guidance’ route, as opposed to a more legal definition, when it comes to bereavement leave.

ACAS was tasked to develop a good practice guide for the management of bereavement leave in the workplace, which they recently issued: https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4976

Although what ACAS have issued is only a good practice guide, my experience is that tribunals sometimes rely on ACAS guides when dealing with cases.

Here is my overview of ACAS’s Managing bereavement in the workplace guide:

  • The guide establishes the legal position in relation to bereavement, including an employee’s entitlement to take a ‘reasonable’ period of unpaid leave following a bereavement.
  • The guide provides practical guidance on managing bereavement in the workplace, including how to deal with the immediate aftermath on being notified of a bereavement, communications with the affected employee and how to share the information with the wider workforce in a sensitive manner.
  • The guide recommends that organisations produce a clear written policy covering managing employee bereavement, such as providing an entitlement to a defined period of either paid or unpaid leave, making available support resource, and guidance on returning to work following bereavement.

HR24 is a national free advisory service for businesses. We have experts in all areas of employment law to offer you first hand, direct HR and legal advice.

Share:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Social Media

Latest Posts

RIDDOR Landing page v x

What are RIDDOR Regulations & What are Employer’s Responsibilities for RIDDOR Reportable Incidents?

Firstly many people ask what RIDDOR means, RIDDOR stands for reporting injuries diseases, and dangerous occurrences. Accidents at work can happen, even with the best …

An Employer Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

An Employer’s Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

Without wishing to delve too heavily into the current (alleged) political shenanigans, there has been much discussion about the announcement of an investigation by the …

covid vaccine 800x296 1

Your Complete Guide to Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations

Earlier this month the government announced that The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 amendment had been passed by Parliament. The …

working from home

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers?

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers? There has been a lot of media coverage recently about various companies who are reducing sick pay …

working from home

Working from home: FAQs for employers

This week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of Plan B of its COVID-19 winter response due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases …