One of our employees has gone off work as his wife died suddenly a few weeks ago. What should we do in this instance and is it appropriate to ask him when he will be returning? We have no policies in place for bereavement?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 June 2015
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

There is no obligation on employers to grant compassionate leave in the event of a bereavement, except in the limited circumstances outlined in the statutory right to time off for dependents. However, many employers will provide for a period of paid leave in the event that a close relative of the employee dies or becomes critically ill.

To date, the government has resisted attempts to legislate in this area, choosing instead to rely on bodies such as the ACAS (in GB) and the LRA here to provide guidance on the matter. The LRA produced a guidance document entitled ‘Managing bereavement in the workplace – a good practice guide’ in March 2015 which can be freely accessed here:

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

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