Does your company have a funeral leave policy?

Question: “I work for a major company in my industry and, of course, benefits have changed over the past few years. Our funeral leave policy grants three days’ leave for immediate family members. However, the old policy allowed one day for aunts, uncles and spouse’s grandparents. Co-workers have trouble understanding that the definition of ‘benefit’ means that the company is not obligated to give us anything. Does your company have a funeral leave policy? I think my company’s policy is really good, and I would like some data to show others.” — Tired of Whining


Our company used to have a 3 day cap for bereavement for each year, and employees were required to use their leave. Now, employees are still required to use vacation or sick leave for funeral/bereavement purposes, but they are no longer capped at 3 days per year.

Our company used to have a 3 day cap for bereavement for each year, and employees were required to use their leave. Now, employees are still required to use vacation or sick leave for funeral/bereavement purposes, but they are no longer capped at 3 days per year.

FMLA Compliance D

I work for a very generous company. We get 5 days paid bereavement leave for immediate family. Immediate family is current spouse, parents, step-parents, siblings, brother/sister in law, step-siblings, children and step-children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, grandparents-in-law, aunts and uncles. I understand the definition of “benefit” and consider this one to be more than generous. I find it amazing that most employees expect benefits and don’t realize that all the employer is required to do is pay an employee for time worked.

The bereavement leave policy for my organization is very generous.

Employees will be provided up to five (5) regularly scheduled work days of paid leave for the death of a spouse, child (natural or step), and parents (natural or step);

Three (3) work days for grandparents, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchildren, brother, sister, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, step-brother, or step-sister;

Employees will be provided one (1) day of paid leave for the death of a brother-in- law, sister-in-law, aunt and uncle.
Employees will be provided one (1) day of paid leave for the death of a spouse’s brother, sister, brother-in- law, sister-in-law, grandparent, aunt and uncle.

Our company’s bereavement leave/funerals policy is very generous. We offer 5 days of paid leave in the case of the death of an immediate family member. Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent, child, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, domestic partner or child of domestic partner.

Part-time employees working 30 or more hours receive 6 hours per day paid leave.

We are a multi-hospital healthcare company. I copied this straight from our policy.

“Bereavement leave is available to full-time employees who have completed their initial ninety (90) day employment period. Employees will be granted time off with pay if a death occurs in their immediate family. “Immediate family” is defined as spouse, son, daughter, parent, brother, sister, parent-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, step-brother, step-sister, step-child, or legal guardian. Management has the right to request verification of the need for bereavement leave before pay will be released.

Paid bereavement leave will be provided for up to twenty-four (24) hours. Payroll records should be submitted by the department which indicates the number of hours and the type of leave, i.e. “bereavement leave – family member being recognized” (Example: 8 hours – bereavement leave – grandfather). When the needs of the department permit, supervisors are encouraged to grant employees additional time off using accrued paid time off (PTO) or time off without pay (if employee has no PTO balance) to extend the bereavement period.”

Our company has the same policy of 3 days paid bereavement leave for an immediate family member and 1 day for any other family member. They will allow you to use vacation time or personal leave if it is necessary for you to take additional time. Since I lost a family member during my employment, I know first hand that they are extremely understanding and generous in extending this extra time if needed for travel, etc.

My company allows 3 consecutive scheduled days of paid time off for immediate family. Hourly associates are eligible after completing the 90-day waiting period following date of hire. Salaried associates are eligible for the date of hire. For non-immediate family we are allowed to us personal/vacation or unpaid time off provided it is approved by the associate’s manager.
Immediate Family: Spouse, Child, Stepchild, Mother and Father, Stepmother and Stepfather, Brother and Sister, Half Brother and Half Sister, Stepbrother and Stepsister, Grandmother and Grandfather, Grandchild, Son-in-law and Daughter-in-law, Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law, same or opposite sex Domestic Partner, and the Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, and Child of the Domestic Partner.

My great organization allows us up to five days for an immediate family member (spouse, parent, guardian, child, sibling, grandparent), with the number of days dependent on the distance to be traveled and the employee’s responsibility for the proceedings. We get one day for an in-law.

Our bereavement leave is in addition to PTO, and we don’t have to exhaust our PTO to claim bereavement leave. It’s also per-occurrence, so if two or more family members die during the year, you’re entitled to bereavement leave for each.

We generously allow Full time employees to take 5 days paid for the death of an immediate family member (spouse, parent, brother, sister, children, grandchild, grandparent, parent-in-law, brother/sister-in-law)
Full time employees may take one paid day to attend the funeral of an aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.
Requests for bereavement must be made known to a supervisor ASAP.
Part time employees are not entitled to any paid time off.

Our policy allows compensation for the day of death and up to three days bereavement following, up to and including the day of the funeral for immediate family members. Domestic partners and Significant Others as also considered immediate family.

Also due to the increase of non-traditional families, an exception to the above criteria may be granted for other close family members by approval of the Administrator. In the case of an exception, a one day leave may be granted.

From the policy manual: “… 3 days of leave for the death in the employee’s immediate family. An immediate family member is considered to be an employee’s household members, spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, sibling, spouse of sibling, grandparent, or the spouse’s or domestic partner’s parent or sibling. Bereavement Leave for a death involving a family member other than those listed above must be approved by the Vice President/Director of Human Resources and is generally limited to one day. A staff member may request PTO if additional time off is required.”

Interesting. Although I am not going to copy and paste our policy here, I wanted to point out, for my company, we get 3 days for immediate family (pretty standard language as seen above in previous posts). You receive 5 days if you have to travel over 500 miles.

I like that idea, because recently my Grandmother passed away, and she lived over 2,000 miles away from me. It was a relief to not have to think about having to go, attend to the funeral and family business, and then turn around and come home all within a 3-day time frame. With 5 days, I could do it at a more leisurely (sp?) pace.

I’m surprised no other company offers this (from those that posted).

For any other family members, we don’t receive any time off.

In the event of a death in the employee’s immediate family (spouse, child, step-child, parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother or sister)our bereavement policy allows for 3 days off, one of which must be the day of the funeral. If circumstances require travel over a distance of 300 miles one-way an additional 2 days are allowed.

We have a benefit policy in our handbook and then also managers are permitted to submit paid time off. So we offer 3 days of bereavement time for immediate family, aunts, uncles, grandparents including your spouses family if applicable. But I have pushed through paid time for circumstances such as I had an employee who had 3 friends pass away in one week and she was very upset, and we paid her 3 days for what she was going through. Bereavement is a difficult situation and we feel each death effects people differently and at times we bend the rules when we know the employee has been very affected by the death. It is not known that we can bend the rules so, so far, it has not been taken advantage of by the employees. And we find most people prefer to come back to their routine in a couple of days anyway to help them move on.

Here is our Bereavement Leave Policy Overview:
Regular full- and part-time employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week may be granted, with manager approval, one to three paid days of bereavement leave for close family members.

Depending on the circumstances, you may qualify for additional time off using PTO days with approval from your manager and Human Resources.

To attend the funeral of a close family member, notify your manager as soon as possible.

If additional time off is needed, work with your manager to take unused PTO days, if eligible.

Depending on the circumstances, Assurance may request information about the funeral services.

This is a copy/paste of our policy:

1 An employee can take up to 3 consecutive paid days off for the death of a parent, step parent, sibling, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild.

2 An employee can take up to 5 consecutive paid days off for the death of a spouse, child, or step child.

3 An employee can take an additional paid day off if he/she is the executor of the estate for the deceased.

4 If the employee is notified of the death while at work, the employee will be excused from work that day without loss of pay. The paid time off mentioned above begins the following day.

5 An employee can take 1 paid day off for the death of a close friend, or another relative other than listed above. This option can be taken no more than once per year.

1. The company will pay up to three consecutive scheduled days before or after the date of death to include the date of the bereavement, not to exceed twenty four (24) hours for the death of a spouse, child, parent, brother or sister.

2.The company will pay up to two consecutive scheduled days before or after the date of death to include the date of the bereavement, not to exceed sixteen (16) hours for the death of a grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, step-grandparent, spouses’ grandparent, step-mother, step-father, step-brother, step-sister & step-child.

The only problem I have with our funeral policy is that I am not close to with my dad; however I am close with my step-dad. So, I get three days for someone I haven’t talked to in over 3 years but for my step-dad whom I talk to all the time I only get two days. It’s still better than nothing though.

Funerals for immediate family 3 days; 5 days if travel is required to the Mainland. (We’re in HI.) Our bosses are very flexible about vacation and personal leave when there is an urgent need, so even if funerals are not for immediate family, I know if they are dear to me, I can get time off to be where I need to be. Business is business and companies have to draw the line somewhere or they’d be out of business and I’d be out of a job. The fact that the company offers anything at all under these circumstances is a positive sign.

Taken straight from our Personnel Policy Manual:

“When specifically authorized by an employee’s supervisor, he/she may be granted bereavement leave for the following purposes:

• Death of an immediate family member of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

Employees may utilize up to (3) days of un-chargeable bereavement leave due to death of an immediate family member. Immediate family members are defined as a legal spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, or the employee’s current mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law. Accrued leave may be approved in the event of the death of a relative not a member of the immediate family as defined above. If there is insufficient sick leave, the time taken will be charged against earned vacation time.”

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