good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Support for managers

Good workplace support for bereavement is not just good for employees, it is good for the employer too. Research has found that supportive workplaces are happier and more productive, with stronger bonds between employees, increased pride in the organisation and lower staff turnover. (See Why is workplace support important? for further info).

But good workplace support does not start and end with a bereavement policy and a period of leave. These are important - time off is often essential - but real workplace support happens when people return to work. It recognises that grief is not confined to a short period, after which someone is "over it". It is an ongoing process that varies from person to person and can be a long term issue. Workplaces can help by creating an open and supportive environment for employees to return to, re-balancing workloads, and allowing for flexibility.

In this section, employers can find out how to contribute to a bereavement friendly workplace, understand what their responsibilities are, and read examples of good practice.


What are the legal requirements for employers in relation to bereavement?


What should be in a bereavement policy?

Best practice

Are there any other suggestions of best practice for employers?


How can an employer make sure they are prepared to deal with bereavement?

Caring for staff

How do you talk to bereaved people? What do managers and HR staff need to know? Is there any training or support that employers can access?

Support in specific situations

What if an employee dies? What if the employee's child has died? How can we support LGBT+ staff?

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