Quarter Of Workforce Feels Unsupported After Loved One Passes Away

| General

Quarter Of Workforce Feels Unsupported After Loved One Passes Away

A recent survey carried out by funeral directors CPJ Field made a four findings. If has found that:

  • just short of half of those interviewed were not permitted the provision of paid annual leave so they could be physically present at the funeral service of a person who is close to them.
  • around twenty-five percent of those they interviewed felt as though they were unsupported by those employing them when somebody close to them such as friends, relatives, and others pass away
  • just short of forty percent of survey respondent who had been refused recompensed time off so they could go to the funeral of a beloved
  • staggeringly just short of twenty-percent of those colleagues who had partaken in the survey interview claimed they were not provided with any time off away from work to go through the process of grieving after a loved one had died and
  • almost a quarter of those bereaved persons who responded to the survey perceived they had not received the correct amount of support from their employers.

When it comes to the need for pre-death support from a respective employer the feeling of dissatisfaction with their employer in this regard was even higher. The survey reported that nearly thirty percent of colleagues felt that their employer could be doing much more to provide support. One example cited by the survey respondents in this regard was the need for colleagues to be provided with some form of carer leave which has a degree of flexibility attached to it.

What Is The Law In This Area?

Currently, in this area, there is presently no legal right under the statute to receive recompensed time away from work in the event of a person close to a member of the workforce passing away. However, that being said, in the event of a death of a child of a member of the workforce or a stillbirth occurs then the affected colleague may be entitled to paid parental bereavement leave.

Proposals For Reform

The respondents to the survey interestingly pointed out that because every death and the events surrounding it are so varied that they felt the need to put forward two suggestions for reform. Firstly, the vast majority of those interviewed proposed and would like their employer to strongly consider adopting a flexible approach with the workforce. Secondly, around seventy-five percent of those respondents to the survey thought that official business policies related to bereavement should be both implemented and enforced.

How Should Employers Be Responding?

In-house and external legal teams should be advising their clients to:

  • appreciate that colleagues have personal lives outside of work
  • show understanding, compassion, and care towards their staff members
  • ensuring the affected person is going through a very difficult time in their lives
  • regularly listening to members of staff to identify if they are experiencing personal turmoil from a loved one’s illness, death, and/or grief
  • understand that not every bereavement is the same and affects members of the workforce in a variety of different ways
  • build strong relationships with members of the workforce
  • encouraging colleagues to communicate honestly and openly with each other to provide a strong support network for the affected person and
  • avoiding taking disciplinary action against a colleague going through turmoil.

This survey is noteworthy for its findings. However, this strategy will enable businesses to effectively provide support for those colleagues who have the misfortune of finding themselves affected by the illness, grief, or death of loved ones.

The Legists Content Team


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[1] Faragher, Jo – ‘Quarter of workers feel unsupported after bereavement’ – 1st July 2022 –Personnel Today - Bereavement: A quarter of workers want more employer support (personneltoday.com)

[2] CIPD – ‘A Guide To Compassionate Bereavement Support’ – 10th November 2020 – Personnel Today - https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/a-guide-to-bereavement-support-Feb2021_tcm18-81624.pdf

[3] Sudden – An urgent report on meeting the needs of people bereaved in challenging circumstances – Sudden – 6 July 2022 - Layout 1 (sudden.org)

[4] Glasgow City HSCP – A Whole School Approach To Loss and Bereavement – Health and Social Care Partnership - A Whole School Approach to Loss and Bereavement (nhsggc.org.uk)



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