Days off for bereavement in the UK explained

Compassionate leave is far more important than we realise because when a loved one passes away, time is the best healer. Work commitments and work stresses seem to double or triple when you’ve got issues going on at home so being away from work during a difficult time is the quickest way of recovering from it. You can get days off for bereavement in the UK so we’ll run you through your rights.
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The government has put in place regulations that mean you can have time off at a moment’s notice when a dependant falls ill or passes away. This is normally unpaid leave that allows you to deal with emergencies. A dependant could be a spouse, child, parent or anyone you live with so this regulation doesn’t cover all of the people in our lives whose passing will be felt most deeply.

Compassionate leave

Compassionate leave isn’t regulated in the same way so you can’t be sure rules your firm has in place without checking your contract of employment, talking to HR or approaching your line manager. Most of us will probably take the latter route because our line manager is the person within the business management structure who knows and understands us best.

What if there’s no scheme

Some smaller operations won’t have a scheme in place. This basically leaves the decision up to the management you work for. Managers will tend to be as reasonable, discrete and consistent as possible when they decide on whether you can take compassionate leave or not. If not, you may have to consider booking the time as holiday.

Don’t worry

Above all don’t worry about work. No matter what your position, no matter what’s going on at work, it’s just work and someone else will be able to do it. Deadlines can be pushed back, meetings can be rescheduled because people will understand.

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