This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Lexis+ AI
Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Acas publishes new bereavement advice for employers

Acas publishes new bereavement advice for employers


The advice is a must read for employers and employment lawyers

Acas has published new advice to help employers support staff following a bereavement and understand an employee’s legal right to time off.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “The death of a loved one is a devastating and life changing experience for any employee. It can impact someone at work immediately as well as long-term.

“We also cannot ignore the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on staff who have been unable to grieve in the usual way. Some people could not be with loved ones when they died or were not able to give them a proper send-off.

“Our new bereavement advice can help employers handle these difficult situations in a supportive, compassionate and practical way as well as understanding the law in this area.”

Acas has said it is important for employers to:

  • be sensitive to what each person might need at the time;
  • consider the person's physical and emotional wellbeing, including once they've returned to work; and
  • recognise that grief affects everyone differently, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and it can affect people at different times following a death.

Employees have the legal right to unpaid time off for dependants following the death of a parent, partner or someone they live with or care for. A parent of a child under the age of 18 that dies may be entitled to parental bereavement leave which gives a right of up to 2 weeks’ time off. If a working parent meets certain eligibility criteria, they could also be entitled to parental bereavement pay.

Acas’s guidance contains advice on:

  • leave and pay when someone dies;
  • if an employee's child dies;
  • if an employee or their partner has a stillbirth or miscarriage;
  • parental bereavement leave and pay;
  • what to do after a death as an employee; 
  • how to support an employee after a death;
  • if someone at work dies; and
  • the benefits of a bereavement policy.

The guidance is available here.

Lexis+ AI