How Much Bereavement Leave Am I Entitled To?

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we can go through, and it’s important to have the support and time to grieve. Many people living in the UK wonder about their entitlement to bereavement leave, and the rules surrounding it. In this blog, we will explore some of the key questions around bereavement leave for those living in the UK.

Am I Entitled to Bereavement Leave?

In the UK, employees have a legal entitlement to a certain amount of time off work for dependents, including bereavement. This is known as “compassionate leave.” However, there is no specific amount of time set out in law, and it will depend on your individual circumstances.

How Long After Bereavement Can I Have Off Work?

There is no set time limit for how long you can have off work after a bereavement, as it will depend on your individual circumstances. However, employers are expected to be sympathetic and understanding during this difficult time and provide as much support as possible. A typical amount of time is five days paid leave, however, two weeks is often the most the common amount of leave a person gets for close family members.

Can My Employer Refuse Bereavement Leave?

If you are eligible for bereavement leave, your employer cannot refuse it. However, it is worth noting that compassionate leave is sometimes unpaid as there is no legal right for this time off to be paid. However, some employers offer pay.

What If I Need More Time Off Work to Grieve?

If you need more time off work to grieve, you may be able to take additional leave, such as annual leave or unpaid leave. Your employer may also offer support and counselling services to help you through this difficult time. It’s important to discuss your needs with your employer and seek support from family and friends.

Will I Be Paid Bereavement Leave?

Compassionate leave is usually unpaid, but some employers may have their own policies on bereavement leave which may include pay. It’s worth checking your employment contract or speaking to your employer to find out what you are entitled to.

What Bereavement Leave Do I Get If I Lose a Child?

In the UK, parents have a legal entitlement to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is known as “parental bereavement leave.” This leave can be taken as a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each, within the first year after the child’s death. Employees are entitled to be paid during this leave if they meet certain eligibility criteria.

In conclusion, employees in the UK have a legal entitlement to compassionate leave for bereavement, but the amount of time off and whether it is paid or unpaid will depend on individual circumstances and employer policies.