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Missing Work Due to Death: Rules of Bereavement

When the death of a loved one occurs, it can be difficult to focus on anything outside of getting home to the family and dealing with your grief. There are rules within most companies regarding bereavement leave and how much time you can miss from work due to the death of someone close to you.

Bereavement leave allows you to take approved time from work to attend the funeral. Some companies also allow a few additional days if the services are a long distance and require that you travel. Your company will also dictate if this leave from work is paid or not. For businesses that do not have protocol for taking leave from work due to a death, you may be required to used your vacation or personal time. There may also be instances where your leave for a death in the family can put your job in jeopardy if you take off from work especially if you are still working under a probationary period.

Bereavement leave may also be granted for specific members of your extended family. Typically, leave will be extended for the death of a parent, spouse, child, or sibling. Some companies will also allow leave to be taken for grandparents and other extended family members but the time extended may be shorter than for immediate family members.

Dealing with the death of a loved one can leave you emotional and unable to concentrate on the job you are required to do. The time you are allowed is meant to be a period where you can grieve and spend time with family. While some employers will be sympathetic to your personal issues, some will expect nothing less than your best efforts which can be difficult during such an emotional time. People deal with grief in different ways and it can be hard to return to work just a few days after the death of a close family member.

If you are dealing with a family death, speak with your human resource department if you are not familiar with the work rules of bereavement leave. Be sure to schedule the appropriate time off so you will not have the additional burden of work-related issues when you are ready to return to the job.