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HR tip: Time off for funerals


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

"How much time should we allow off for funerals?"

HR tip:
The law allows employees time off work to deal with family emergencies such as bereavement but does not say how much. You need to deal with each case on its merits, though it is useful to have a framework from which to work. I suggest that your standard arrangement be a couple of days for local funerals of a close family member – spouse, brother sister, parent, child – or one or two days longer if the funeral is a long distance away. And give half a day off for other family or friends. You should allow much longer if clearly the employee is deeply grieved. And similarly if, although the dead person is not a relative, he or she raised your employee as a child.

You do not have to agree with my suggestion, but have your managers look at it and form what you and they feel is a better arrangement. Establish a clear standard but be prepared to vary it if there are good reasons for doing so. You must of course also consider the length of bereavement leave the employee will need.

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