Bereavement Leave

Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 5386

Definition: Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is a temporary leave period granted to an employee for the demise of a family member or friend. Bereavement leave is generally given apart from the other scheduled leaves for every employee & is usually a paid leave.

This leave is granted to a person to help cope with the loss of a loved one and recuperate before joining official duties. Bereavement leave is also seen as a means to build trust and employees’ loyalty. Bereavement leave is also called as funeral leave or compassionate leave, and is a special leave which an employee takes.

Reasons for Bereavement Leave

An employee can opt for a bereavement leave in case one of the following happens:

1. A family member or friend dies

2. A family member or friend has a very serious illness or disease

Family members include spouse/partners, parents, grandparents, children, siblings etc.

The duration for bereavement leave varies from company to company, but it takes into considerations the travel time, funeral processes & other formalities which are required to be carried out. It is given as a consideration of work life balance for the employee, where personal tragedy is also as important as work.

Example of Bereavement Leave:

IT companies in India have been at the forefront of adopting this practice. TCS and Infosys have a global bereavement leave policy. MNCs in India such as Cisco and Adobe also offer this facility.

In many of the Western countries bereavement leave is authorized, whereas there are no formal established rules in India. However, the practice of granting leave for the demise of immediate family is gaining increasing acceptance. Increasingly a “compassionate leave” is being provided to employees in the event of demise of family. However, the critical question which companies face is in deciding the circumstances under which the leave is to be granted – who is determined as immediate family? Several companies also provide bereavement leave to employees by examining on a case to case basis.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Bereavement Leave along with its overview.


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