However difficult it may be to handle bereavement leave requests, it is a time sensitive matter. Employees grieving will generally be too distracted to continue with their work duties so it will benefit both the business and employee to discuss time off.
Like sickness, everyone deals with the loss differently. Whether someone is still in shock, struggling to control their emotions or dealing with it in a very matter of fact way, you must be understanding.
While being sympathetic you should also be patient. Discuss how to keep in touch and consider how best to return to work.
Whoever the employee, all bereavement leave requests should be considered equally. It is unlawful to discriminate against ‘protected characteristic’s’. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
It is very possible that employee’s off on bereavement leave may cause disruption to the business. Do not force the employee back to work! If the employee is still grieving, they may make costly mistakes. Their lack of morale could also have a knock-on effect to colleagues.
Of course, its not just handling bereavement leave requests, you also need to consider how their circumstances have changed. They may need temporary adjustments. Call a Wurkplace Consultant on 0844 7050 811 to guide you through the best practices.