A clearly stated bereavement leave policy should specify:
- Length of the leave – Some organizations allow 3–5 days for a relative or partner and 1 day for someone who is not related.
- Eligibility based on relationship (domestic partner, parent, step- parent or foster parent, child, sibling, in-laws, etc.).
- If the leave is paid or unpaid.
- If the leave includes terminal illness or only applies in the event of death.
- Other conditions such as eligibility based on length of service or collective agreement.
- Name and contact details of who should be notified when bereavement leave is required.
Implementation of the bereavement policy should include:
- Legal review of the policy, if appropriate.
- Regular reviews by management to ensure the policy remains relevant.
- Training for managers on how to respond when notified of a request for bereavement leave.
- Communication of the policy and key messages to all employees, including senior personnel.
- Providing a copy of the policy to all new employees upon hiring or transfer.
- Acknowledgment in writing or by e-mail from all employees that they have received and read the policy and/or amendments.
- Posting of the policy and/or amendments prominently in a place where all employees will see it and have regular access to it.
- Instructions to all managers about what is expected of them in carrying out the policy. Where necessary, provide training or education.
- Annual discussion between managers and their staff about this particular policy.
See also Grief Response.
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