good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Case Study 1

"In November 2006 I started a new job in the same week that my father was diagnosed with MND. It took just 5 months from diagnosis for my dad to die which was a brutal shock for me.

My line manager, I later found out, had experienced a close bereavement herself which perhaps informed her decision making around the support she gave me.

The organisation employed over 1000 people. There was a section in the employment policies around bereavement – the key bit for me was the line ‘at your manager’s discretion’.

The actions that helped keep me afloat included:

A ‘take as long as you need’ attitude. I don’t recall if I took annual leave but there was no issue with me being off for at least 2 weeks.

On my return my manager had weekly one to ones with me which always involved a discussion around how I was doing personally

I was granted 6 or 8 counselling sessions through a work scheme which I think were free to me

And as time went on, for a set period of time, (around 3 months) I worked a 4 day week rather than 5 days.

The other thing that helped greatly was that within a few months I was given a big project to lead on. Reflecting on this now I can see that this really helped keep me moving forwards."

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

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