As an employer, protecting the well-being and mental health of your employees should be a top priority. This is especially true when it comes to bereavement leave for employees mourning the death of a family member. Bereavement leave enables employees to emotionally recover before returning to work.
Bereavement Leave Entitlement
Under British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act, an employee has the right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to three days. Bereavement leave is permitted for the death of an immediate family member. This leave of absence allows for time off to grieve, attend a funeral, or handle any issues relating to the person’s death. The three days of unpaid do not need to be taken consecutively.
During bereavement leave, you cannot terminate an employee or change their employment conditions without written consent. This is a legal requirement.
Who is ‘Immediate Family’?
The Employment Standards Act defines ‘immediate family’ as an employee’s:
- Grandparent and
- Any person who lives with the employee as a member of their family.
Additionally, “immediate family” includes the child or parent of an employee’s spouse.
Bereavement Leave Policy
It’s important to have an extensive employee handbook that includes information about leaves of absences. With a policy for bereavement leave, your employees are able to understand the requirements pertaining to this type of leave. You may also choose to outline requirements such as requisite documentation to prove the need for the leave.
Ask us what to include in your workplace policy.
We are dedicated to supporting small businesses with HR and employment-related advice. If you have questions about leaves of absences, or general workplace policies, ask Employer Line 's HR experts. For additional information, call our advice line today - 1(833) 200-5103.