Bereavement leave, also known as compassionate leave, is given to employees who have just experienced the death of a loved one. Although it is not legally mandatory for organizations to assign bereavement leaves, letting the employee grieve and performing formalities and rituals surrounding the death is crucial.
Usually, most organizations allow a certain number of days as paid leave for bereavement. There is no rule for the minimum or the maximum number of paid leave days for bereavement; it depends on the organization. It should be mentioned and outlined in company policies, including information like:
How to apply for the leave
The length of allowed paid leave
Whom to contact.
Rules for when an employee requires more than the allotted days
Why are Bereavement Leaves Necessary?
Although there are no federal mandates for bereavement leaves, it is a good practice to include bereavement policies in an organization. Because:
Having a bereavement policy increases the chance for employees to choose your company to work for over others.
Employees feel cared for and acknowledged.
It is humane and compassionate.
It creates goodwill
Employees are more likely to be productive and sincere towards their responsibilities.
It gives the employee a chance to grieve, mourn, and perform religious rituals.
It acknowledges mental health, something that is often overlooked.
How Do We Create a Proper Bereavement Policy?
For any policy to be proper and just, it needs to have a perfect balance between strictness and flexibility. The following things need to be outlined to be effective:
Mention the number of days for each kind of loss. For instance, in the case of the death of a grandparent or distant relative, a company may allow fewer days off when compared to the death of a direct relative or family.
Specifying whether the leave will be paid or unpaid.
Whom to notify in case of an incident.
How to make up for lost productivity and work.
Situations where one might need more leave
What is the Purpose of a Bereavement Leave Policy?
Emotional health is something people often overlook. In the case of the workplace, emotional health and condition are directly related to productivity. An emotionally unstable employee is less likely to be productive.
So bereavement policies are outlined and implemented by organizations to help any employee suffering from the loss of a loved one. Death is inevitable; a loved one may die at any given moment. When someone dies, their death affects everyone related to them. Giving employees a chance to grieve, mourn, and recover from the trauma of losing a loved one is not only humane but also the right thing to do. People also need to recover from emotional injuries and trauma like physical injuries, and there lies the necessity of having a bereavement policy.