good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Being a supportive manager

If you're in a position where you are likely to be dealing with bereavement from a management and HR perspective, it is worth being well equipped with information to deal with a range of eventualities, so that you can respond to questions that your employees may have.

Find out whether the employee wishes the reason for their absence to be shared with colleagues – some people are glad if colleagues know what has happened so they don’t have to tell the same story several times; others may not wish to be so open.

Give consideration to the nature of the work the person does on a daily basis. Are there aspects to their work that they may find more difficult because of what has happened? For example, do they deal with death or bereavement at work? There may be other triggering factors in the workplace. For example, after the loss of a baby, it may be difficult for the bereaved to meet colleagues who are pregnant. It is important to be sensitive to these issues and respond appropriately.

Next steps

Case Studies

Check out these case studies that illustrate the difference that a supportive manager can make to someone who is bereaved.

What to say when a colleague has been bereaved

This leaflet gives some tips on the kind of things that a colleague can say or do to show support when someone is bereaved.

Grief Kind Classes

This series of five short video tutorials from Sue Ryder explore what grief is like and how you can support others who are grieving.

Best Practice for Employers

Other sections of this website provide important information that may be helpful, including information about being a supportive employer, legal requirements, bereavement policies, the Bereavement Charter Mark and an at-a-glance checklist of steps an employer can take.

Further resources

Bereavement Training for Workplaces by Cruse Scotland Bereavement Support

Talking to bereaved people [pdf] by Cruse Scotland Bereavement Support

When your employee is bereaved [website] Cruse Bereavement Support

Grief in the Workplace by Cruse Bereavement Support

Employees who are bereaved [pdf] NHS Education for Scotland

Support after a death information and information leaflets by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief.


(Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)
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