What if…….. A member of your domestic or household staff asks for bereavement leave?
Assuming you already have a contract of employment for your domestic and household staff, then you will (or should) have included in it your annual leave policy.
The rules on Paternity, Maternity and Adoption leave have recently been revised and published, so in these situations, your obligations are clearly laid out.
But what if a member of your staff informs you of a family bereavement, what are your plans to handle this situation?
If you have not considered this possibility and, in all fairness that is probably the case, it may well be to joint advantage to think this through, so that if this unfortunate and sad situation arises, you are not caught flatfooted.
In the case of bereavement leave, there are no legal guidelines, no minimum or maximum time frame to work within. Neither is there any guidance as to whether such leave, if granted, should be paid or unpaid.
In effect it is all down to you.
Some aspects are best treated through common sense and sympathy.
For a start, the staff member cannot give prior notice; however, they could advise you when a close relative is extremely ill, so that you can begin to consider a policy.
Of course, the relationship between your staff and the bereaved is a factor, as is their location ~ for example: they may live in another country and have been unable to visit for some time. This situation is different to that person living down the road and being visited every week.
Religious beliefs may also impact on the time-frame and need to be taken into account, understood and respected.