HR struggling to provide bereavement support

HR struggling to provide bereavement support

Almost half (45%) of HR departments do not have agreed policies in place to cope with the aftermath of the death of an employee, and 64% do not have procedures for supporting staff who are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Despite a lack of policies, the research from MetLife Employee Benefits found that 92% of HR departments offer flexible working, 24% provide access to bereavement helplines through their employee benefits provider and 13% offer face-to-face counselling.

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Comments (3)

  • Bonnie Tompkins
    Bonnie Tompkins
    Thu, 12 Jan 2017 6:43pm GMT
    When I lost my partner, my workplace had nothing in their staff manual. While the owner was great and said to take all the time I needed, because I had no clear direction I was worried might getting fired if I took too much time. Just as stressful. Literature say clear guidelines put the person at ease.

    This is why I am working on the Compassionate City Charter and working with workplaces to become more compassionate towards their staff. I hope to help make a cultural shift. Any suggestions on articles or books to read for a Canadian, please comment away. Meeting with a HR professional association tomorrow to talk about this idea.
  • Victoria Noe
    Victoria Noe
    Thu, 12 Jan 2017 4:55pm GMT
    When I wrote my book - Friend Grief and the Workplace: More Than an Empty Cubicle - I took pains to include all kinds of workplaces. Not just offices, but theatres, TV newsrooms, rectories, baseball parks. Loss is loss, no matter where you work.

    Bereavement policies that I researched were almost wholly inadequate. Bereavement consisted of lists of allowed paid time off. Very few - maybe 10%, though all were in the US) - addressed the death of a coworker, manager or owner.

    Those left behind had to fend for themselves to deal with personal and professional loss. Not having a policy, one that is created with input from the employees themselves, is a disservice to everyone.
  • Lucy Herd
    Lucy Herd
    Thu, 12 Jan 2017 9:57am GMT
    This is why my campaign for statutory Bereavement Leave is vital. Grief and Bereavement are still such taboo subjects to talk about, although as a nation we have got better. Let's hope 2017 ensures employees are treated with the compassion they neied. On the back of this I have developed a simple tool for employers to use to help grieving employees

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