Bereavement Leave

Understanding Bereavement Leave Policies & Their Importance in the Corporate World

Kelly Barcelos on October 20, 2020 in Glossary

What is Bereavement Leave?

Bereavement means the death of a loved one. Therefore, Bereavement Leave is the time-off taken by an employee following the death of a loved one. In the event of familial death, most corporates have a bereavement policy of providing time off to employees to grieve their loved ones. This is called Bereavement Leave, also known as compassionate leave or grievance leave.

Bereavement Leave Policies in Different Countries

As of date, no country has decreed Bereavement Leave by law. However, most corporates offer Bereavement Leave on compassionate grounds. Here is a brief account of how bereavement policies are framed and followed around the world

Country NameBereavement Policy
USAThe Federal Law in the UA does not ask for mandatory Bereavement days from employers. Most employers in the USA grant 3 days of paid leave to grieve close family members.
New ZealandLeave is granted after considering the closeness of the relative, logistical responsibilities, and cultural understanding. Typically a Bereavement Leave in New Zealand is 3 days.
UKNo such policy. But it is understood for employees to take ‘a reasonable time’ off, in the event of a familial death.
SpainCorporates in Spain offer 2 days’ leave to their employees for bereavement. However, if the employee needs to travel to attend the funeral, up to 4 days of leave may be given.
ChinaBereavement Leave policy depends on local guidelines, from 1 to 3 days of paid leave is usually given to employees for bereavement.
FranceFrench companies offer their employees 3 days of Bereavement Leave. In case of the death of a child, up to 5 days of paid leave is given to an employee.
SingaporeLaws of the land do not mandate a Bereavement Leave policy from any corporate. However, most companies in Singapore give Bereavement Leave for 3 to 5 days, but in some cases, the leave can be up to 20 days.
South AfricaFamily Responsibility Leave decrees that companies should give employees at least 3 days of Bereavement Leave, but only if the employee has completed four months of employment working four days a week.
IndiaNo legal requirements for Bereavement Leave, but most companies offer up to 7 days of leave to grieve the loss of a loved one. Some Multinational companies may have more generous policies.


  1. How does Bereavement Leave work?

    Corporate organizations clearly define Bereavement in their company policy. You have to consult the company policy to understand details such as leave duration, bereavement policies, paid or unpaid Bereavement Leave, and which situations qualify as bereavement.

  2. What does Bereavement Leave cover?

    Usually, only close relatives such as grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, and children are covered under Bereavement Leave. However, some companies may include extended family, friends, and even pets under this policy.

  3. Is Bereavement Leave paid?

    Typically, Bereavement Leaves are unpaid, however, this may differ. A lot of corporates offer Bereavement pay to their employees. If your company does not offer paid Bereavement Leaves, opt for paid leaves such as PTO.

  4. How do employees take Bereavement Leave?

    After an employee receives the unfortunate news, they should inform their employer through an e-mail or phone. HR should ensure that all employees are aware of whom to reach out to in such a situation.

  5. Typically for how long Bereavement Leave may be taken?

    Every company offers a different duration of Bereavement Leave. You may take time off depending on how long Bereavement Leave your company states as a Bereavement Leave duration.

  6. What is a Typical Company Bereavement Leave Policy?

    A typical company Bereavement Leave Policy defines the following:
    -> Duration of Bereavement Leave
    -> Bereavement definition including the family members covered
    -> Whether the company offers paid or unpaid Bereavement Leave or grievance pay
    -> Whom can the employees reach out to, before taking leave

  7. Is Bereavement Leave required by law?

    No, Bereavement Leave is not required by law in any country so far.

  8. Are employees required to show proof of death for Bereavement Leave?

    Usually, employees are not required to show proof of death for Bereavement Leave. However, in some corporates, the policy requires the employees to show an obituary, a funeral program, or a death certificate.

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.