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compassionate leave


Can you answer a question regarding compassionate leave, as a small company do we have to have a compassionate leave policy or do we do it as a gesture of good will.

What areas fall under compassionate leave? i.e sick childre or parents
For a small company what is a reasonable and fair amount of compassionate leave per annum?

Antoinette Wilcox

2 Responses

  1. Recent Legal Changes
    Dear Antionette,

    Since the Employment Rights Act came into force you do now need to have a written policy document – basically various areas of what used to be called ‘compassionate’ leave are now legal entitlements. This area is also growing all the time, and looks set to become a minefield over the next three to five years.

    If you want to discuss any specific areas, please contact me at [email protected].

    Megan Borysiewicz Cole
    Consultant, and Visiting Lecturer in Employment Law at Westminister University Business School

  2. Whatever you decide, make it clear so that everyone is aware of
    Having recently been on the end of an unclear policy on compassionate leave following the sudden death of my father, I feel it is imperative that policy on this sensitive subject is clear to all and available to all to read. I asked the CAB for guidance and they advised that policy is at the discretion of the company, some companies include a number of days per year paid, others say it must be taken from holiday or, as unpaid leave. Just tell people so they know. I was left dangling, presuming it was given as good will and then finding out several months later that it wasn’t, which came out of the blue as nothing had ever been said or written down. Incidentally, we’re only small too. Hope this helps.

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