Do you have a staff member going through a bereavement?

funeral leave

Our staff, no matter what role they take on in our business, are vital parts of making sure that everything goes as it should.

This means, that as their employer, you need to make sure that they are taken care of as best as you can.

Not only do you need to think about things that can help their physical wellbeing, but also what can help their mental wellbeing too. Especially when they are facing times of real hardship and emotional struggle, such as losing a family member or friend. Without support, these stressful life events can end up taking their toll on anyone’s mental health.

One of the best things that you can do for your employee when they have suffered a bereavement is to allow them time off work. Often known as compassionate leave. The thing about compassionate leave is that it can be hard to know what is normal, as every business will have a different policy and idea of what is right.

The important thing is that you do allow your staff the time off to grieve and here are some of the reasons why.

Time away from work will allow them to focus on their grief

When you are grieving for someone, then chances are that you are going to find it relatively overwhelming and it will often take over some of the other aspects of your life. If you are trying to not only deal with your grief, but also with everyday tasks such as work, then you are likely to feel that you are being thinly spread, which can take its toll on your mental health. Not only this, but you can also feel that you are not giving the time to process your grief.

Allowing compassionate leave shows that you care about your staff

Every employer wants to be seen as a company who care about their staff as well as value them as people. An opportunity to show that you are a caring employer comes when allowing for compassionate leave. Not only are you giving that particular staff member the time and space to get through what can be one of the hardest parts of their lives, but you are also showing them and others that you care about their wellbeing.

One of the most important things that you can do as an employer is to make sure that your never pressure your staff into coming back to work before they are ready. However, if you want to get in touch with them and show them that you are thinking about them, then there is no harm in this. You may want to send a bouquet of flowers to them, or perhaps something such as a voucher to use for Ashes Memorial Jewellery. Anything that shows that you care.

Time away from work will allow them to sort out any arrangements

Going through a bereavement means that you not only need to get to grips with your own feelings of grief, but there are also some all-important arrangements that need to be put in place too. This includes arranging death certificates, organising the funeral and sorting through the possessions that the person left behind. All these things can take time, and they need a lot of focus in order to make sure that they are done properly.

If your staff come back to work too soon, then you may find that they need to take the time off to sort out these things, as well as being distracted whilst they are at work. Which isn’t exactly ideal for you as an employer.

A grieving staff member may not be as productive as normal

Whilst the most important thing to focus on during any period of bereavement is the person themselves, this doesn’t mean that you should forget your needs as a business. A staff member during grief, one who returns long before they are ready, is never going to be as productive as they otherwise would be.

This can have a much bigger impact on your business than you realise, as well as make the person feel down too as they are not quite performing as they normally would.

One of the biggest negatives to grief is that there is no time-frame on it and it is almost impossible to know when a staff member is going to be ready to return to work. It really is down to them to know when the right time is, and even then it may be a phased return or perhaps on flexible working time if this is better.