Acas publishes new bereavement guidance


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Acas has published some new guidance, 'Time off work for a bereavement'. This replaces previous guidance 'Managing bereavement in the workplace: a good practice guide', which was archived on 4 December 2018.

The guidance explains the statutory rights that a bereaved employee may be entitled to, including dependant's leave, parental bereavement leave, maternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and paternity leave. Where there is no legal right to time off for bereavement and the employer does not offer compassionate leave, the guidance recommends that employers consider the use of annual leave, sick leave or unpaid leave to support bereaved employees. It also explains the rights to pay for time off taken as a result of a bereavement.

The Acas guidance sets out how employers should support employees following a bereavement and includes illustrative case studies. The guidance stresses the importance of sensitive communications with bereaved employees, and advises employers not to discriminate against bereaved employees when considering time off and support provided. It also recommends that employers have a workplace bereavement policy to cover time off and pay and has an example policy for employers to use.

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