good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Why is workplace support important?

All workplaces can be bereavement friendly workplaces - ones where employees feel supported by colleagues, managers and institutional procedures when they experience the death of someone important to them.

For all of us, there will be times when death intrudes on our lives and expectations. No-one should have to deal with these distressing times alone, and workplaces can play an important role providing:

  • flexibility to allow an individual to continue doing what matters most to them
  • information on financial, legal and other practical issues
  • understanding and social support

Providing a supportive workplace can also have benefits for the organisation. Research suggests compassion in the workplace:

  • reduces anxiety
  • helps people feel valued
  • helps people resume a sense of normality
  • increases bonds between co-workers
  • generates higher levels of shared positive emotion
  • builds a collective capacity for healing

For more background on why workplace support is important, read the chapter in our A Road Less Lonely report (Section 5, pp 23-29). You may also find some useful information in The Irish Hospice Foundation's report Grief at Work - Developing a bereavement policy and the European Working Conditions Survey (2015).

This Compassionate Workplaces Toolkit contains resources to help both employers and employees to cope with bereavement in the workplace:

Support for managers

Support for staff

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