Current law on bereavement leave
Employers should be flexible and compassionate in these types of circumstances, but as the law currently stands, there are no specific statutory rights for employees to take leave for compassionate or bereavement reasons.
Under the Employment Rights Act, all employees, irrespective of their length of service, are entitled to the right to take unpaid time off to deal with emergencies and unforeseen matters involving a dependant, for example, a spouse or civil partner, child or parent.
Employees are entitled to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off. This could be a few hours or one or two days. It will all depend on the individual circumstances. However what is important to note is that if an employee is seeking time off in consequence of a death, they should be granted leave to arrange and attend the funeral, but the right does not extend to cover time off for grieving or mourning.
To discuss how to deal with request for time off after bereavement, seek advice from your HR specialist.