How to Create a Bereavement Leave Policy
How to Create a Bereavement Leave Policy

How to Create a Bereavement Leave Policy

Bereavement Leave Goes a Long Way with Employees

When an employee’s family member or friend dies, it’s common for them to want to pay their respects. And if the deceased person was an immediate family member, such as a parent or spouse, they will have extra things to take care of. That’s why it’s important to have a bereavement leave policy in place. This type of leave is given to employees so they can:

  • Make funeral arrangements
  • Pay their respects to the deceased person’s family at a wake or visitation
  • Attend the funeral and burial
  • Handle the deceased person’s belongings and will
  • Any other matters that they need to deal with after a death

Are Employers Required to Offer Bereavement Leave?

The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides no federal law that requires employers to offer bereavement leave following the death of a family member or friend, which leaves creating the guidelines in the hands of the employer. Some states do mandate that employers provide bereavement leave. Oregon, for example, was the first state to require companies to offer extended bereavement leave in 2014. They now include two weeks of bereavement leave in their state family and medical leave statutes. If your company doesn’t already have a policy in place, keep reading to find out what goes into implementing an effective one.

How Much Leave Time Should We Provide?

Most businesses offer company paid bereavement leave of three to five days after the death of an immediate family member. In the case of other relatives and friends, the typical paid bereavement leave is just one day off.

The reduction in paid time off is because less personal time should be needed for distant relatives or friends beyond attending the funeral or memorial service.

When Should You Offer More Time Off?

Sometimes an employee is required to put in more time and effort after a death, especially if they are the executor of the will or the estate is particularly complex. Appointments with attorneys, realtors and estate sale agents can be time-consuming and may take weeks or even months to wrap up. Another complicating factor is if the deceased person lived in another city or state. In this case, extra time off will be required, so most companies also include a section about unpaid leave in their bereavement policies.


Here’s A Free Bereavement Leave Policy Template:

Company Bereavement Policy

It is the company’s intent to support all our employees following the death of a loved one. Following is our policy for bereavement leave. If you have any questions, please consult your manager or the human resources department.

Bereavement Leave for an Immediate Family Member:

When an immediate family member dies, all regular, full-time employees who have worked for the company for at least 90 days may take a maximum of 5 days off with bereavement pay to go to the funeral, make funeral arrangements or tend to legal and other matters associated with the death.

If the funeral occurs on a scheduled workday, leave pay for part-time employees will be prorated.

The company has the right to require verification (such as an obituary or funeral program) for the necessity of bereavement leave.

If the employee does not have adequate paid time off banked, the leave time is unpaid.

Immediate Family Defined for Bereavement Leave:

Immediate family members are defined as an employee’s spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Friend or Other Relative Bereavement Leave:

All regular, full-time employees who have worked for the company for at least 90 days may take 1 day off with pay to attend the funeral or visitation of a non-family member.

If the funeral occurs on a scheduled workday, leave pay for part-time employees will be prorated. Time off will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the employee’s manager. Managers should confirm that time is recorded accurately on time cards.

The company has the right to require verification (such as an obituary or funeral program) for the necessity of bereavement leave.

Additional Bereavement Time Off:

We understand the serious impact the death of an immediate family member can have on our employees. Upon request of the employee’s manager, an additional 4 days of unpaid time off can be granted.

This additional unpaid time off may be approved due to situations such as the deceased being in another state, the employee’s responsibilities for funeral arrangements, or the employee’s responsibilities for managing the estate of the deceased.


FMLA and Bereavement Leave

If the employee still needs additional time following a death, like we said above, FMLA doesn’t cover it. However, if the employee needs to attend grief counseling or therapy to help them cope with the death, that can be covered under FMLA.

If you need help establishing leave policies or other benefit programs, Paycor can help!


hr benefits administration software

More to Discover

Payroll Risks and Controls: Everything You Need to Know

Payroll Risks and Controls: Everything You Need to Know

Believe it or not, running payroll is a risky business The IRS estimates that 40% of small to medium-size businesses end up paying a payroll penalty each year. Whether you’re a large organization or a small one, there’s always a risk of payroll errors leading to fines, penalties and sometimes litigation. Protect yourself from fraud and human error Businesses that run payroll on their own, especially small businesses, are at a much higher risk of being disrupted by fraudulent activity and human error. From ghost employees to hour padding to buddy punching, when a company lacks the appropriate internal controls to manage its payroll, it can run into big trouble. Here are 6 common payroll risks and controls you can implement to mitigate...

401(k) Match Limits 2019: What Payroll Administrators  Need to Know

401(k) Match Limits 2019: What Payroll Administrators Need to Know

It’s a relatively small change, but it’s a change for payroll administrators to take notice of. As of November 2018, your employees’ contribution limits for their 401(k) increased to $19,000 from $18,500. The increase raises the total annual contribution amount (employee plus employer contribution) to $56,000 or 100% of the employee’s salary if they make less than that. Most companies typically offer 3-6% in matching funds, but there is no limit to the amount an employer can contribute as long as the annual cap isn’t reached. 2018 & 2019 401(k) Match Limits Defined Contribution Plan Limits 2019 2018 Difference Maximum employee contribution $19,000 $18,500 +$500 Catch-up contribution for employees aged 50 or older $6,000 $6,000 No...

Banker

Paycor + Regions Bank: A Homerun Partnership for the Birmingham Barons

Paycor + Regions Bank: A Homerun Partnership for the Birmingham Barons

Providing fans with an unforgettable experience is paramount for the Birmingham Barons. From sales and ticket takers to concessions and ballpark operations the entire Barons staff plays a vital role in making home games at Regions Field a can’t miss event for the community. And as preparation starts for opening day, hiring takes off. With nearly 700 seasonal employees hired each year, the Barons rely on Paycor to help automate manual HR processes like payroll, reporting and timekeeping.Check out this video to learn how Paycor has increased efficiency and streamlined HR operations for the Barons.

Broker

How to Help Your Clients Prove Their Value to the C-Suite

How to Help Your Clients Prove Their Value to the C-Suite

HR professionals are sitting on a goldmine of data, but they’re constantly fighting an uphill battle when it comes to proving their value to the C-suite. For starters, they aren’t data scientists and often lack the support, resources and budget needed to make sense of the data, let alone measure its financial impact.In 2015, 20% of business leaders trusted HR to use data to anticipate and help fill talent needs. By 2018, that number dropped to only 11%. The problem is twofold: some HR teams (especially if you are a solo practitioner) still spend too much time on transactional HR functions that should be automated. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else. Secondly, HR often doesn’t have the tools they need to access or interpret...