'It's the least an employer can do' - your views online

A Scottish MP wants to change the law so all workers can be guaranteed two weeks of bereavement leave after the death of a loved one. SNP MP Patricia Gibson said it would allow people to “make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures”.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 7:00 am
Everybody needs time to grieve - but how much paid time off work should employees receive?

Clare Hay: This definitely would be good. I lost my dad at the end of October but due to Covid it took almost three weeks to have his funeral. I had time off as the doctor signed me off but it would be good have it without needing a doctor's line as there is so much to organise and the emotional side is immense.

Jean Campbell: It's the least an employer can do

Audrey Campbell: I think grief is a very difficult thing to quantify. I believe that line managers should know their staff enough to grant appropriate levels of leave according to each team member. Grief is not only felt for traditional family members. Compassionate leave should be justifiable to a maximum level of seven working days.

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Angus Mcnair: Some say it is best to keep busy and get back to work and not dwell on loss but others grieve in different ways. The whole subject needs to be agreed with employers, workers, the taxman, the legal brigade and the opportunistic political class trying to earn points.

Sue Gail Channon: It depends on how it would work. Most firms have a policy regarding time off for closest relatives but what if someone else’s death affects you even more than those supposed closest relatives? My brother-in-law died years ago and he was like a real brother to me plus my sister needed me but trying to get my employer to give me time off to go to his funeral was a nightmare. In the end I got enough time off to be able to fly there and back and attend the funeral but it cost me ridiculous money. If I’d even been allowed five days off I could have got there at a more reasonable cost and been there longer for my sister. Even if you were allowed to take time off unpaid without fear of losing your job it would be helpful.

Kevin Kelly: I got nothing. My work was all full of condolences and don’t rush back only to find that I lost two weeks’ wages. That’s all you need when your head is all over the place.

Alf Bissett: Two weeks would be excessive for a statutory employment condition. Circumstances are different for all and this would be costly for employers

Aimée Anderson: Some people are so struck by grief and are in such a state of shock that they cannot even begin to comprehend what’s just happened or even try to plan a funeral or untangle what’s been left behind to sort. Current leave within the NHS is three days when someone dies, and even then it’s only for certain relations, and I can assure you that for myself three days was not nearly enough to process my loss.

Marion Johnstone: I got three days when my mum passed. The day she died, the day of the funeral and the day of internment. How is anyone supposed to cope with grief, never mind all the organising of the funeral arrangements, when you're working full time? It should be available to those who need it.

Richard Gordon: It’s a very difficult time when immediate family passes away. Any good employer would acknowledge this and this would be reciprocated with loyalty from both parties.

Margaret Mary OSullivan: Totally agree with this! We are talking human beings here, not emotionless machines.

Lisa Smith: People don’t realise its not just the death itself, it’s trying to deal with your grief, planning a funeral, clearing out a house, making appointments to cancel bank things etc. Death isnt a one-three-day thing – there can be a lot to cope with and some people need the time to deal with it all without the pressure of money worries and having to rush back to work. My ex-employer allowed one day off in the event of a death of a parent, child or sibbling (hence one of the reasons they are my ex-employer). Have some compassion.

Lorraine Blyth: The whole system needs overhauled. I’ve had several family funerals in the last two years that I’ve had to use annual leave to attend..

Megan Callaghan: Workers should be guaranteed two weeks. I only had a week off from work (two years ago now) after a sudden death in my family. I was nowhere near ready to go back to work. I got sacked for it as I wasn’t concentrating on my job.

Colin Wilson: It’s a wonderful thought but who pays the wages?

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