good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Legal requirements

What are the legal requirements on employers?

Several pieces of legislation have a bearing on employers' approaches to grief and bereavement. For example, under Section 57(A) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees have a "day one" right to "reasonable" time off work to deal with emergencies, including a bereavement, involving a dependant. "Reasonable" is not defined. "Dependant" could include partner, child, grandchild, parent, or other person for whom the employee cares. The employer is not obliged to pay the employee for this time.

Legal obligations are subject to change too. For instance, in 2018, the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act gave bereaved parents the right to paid leave from 2020. Your organisation should make sure it is aware of its obligations to staff who have been bereaved.

Detailed guidance is available from the respective government websites and it is worth checking to make sure your procedures are compliant:

UK Government [weblink]
Scottish Government [weblink]

(Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash)

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