Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Legal Analyst, Hrm
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
Hr , Ir , Complainces
Psychometrics, Competency Mapping, Spss,
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Deepak Kaushik
Private Sector
S B Pandey
Mktg Coordinator/service
Sucharita Paul
Sr. Hr Professional
Hr Executive
+3 Others

Hi, I am looking for a policy for Bereavement leave for employees. I understand there is no law for this but I would like to know what are the various ideas we can come up with with regards to Bereavement leave, specially for an employee that loses his direct family member. Urgent advice required. Thanks.
21st July 2015 From India, Pune
Law does not cater for such leave.
Any employee who looses his direct family member needs sympathy,empathy and leave.
CL,EL ,Leave without pay can also be given in special cases.
Now one will have to define who are direct members of a family.
Employee may have parents who are not dependent on him.
What is the criteria of direct family member?
21st July 2015 From India, Pune
Well, this type of special leave with wages on such a specific contingency, in addition to existing leave provisions can be a gesture of goodwill,empathy and people concern. Like Mr.Rao said indirectly, it requires a lot of considerations. Why don't you elaborate your ideas in this matter, Akriti?
23rd July 2015 From India, Salem
The labour reforms are underway , present government has formulated quite a few progressive ways to encourage the entire work force. Workers / Employees must also understand their duties and as an HR it is our collective responsibility to percolate this down under. This idea of another "bereavement leave" is not a good idea at all.
23rd July 2015 From India, Bangalore
Don't you think that we in India already have too many holidays and the leave in existence is sufficient to cover any exigency ? Adding Bereavement Leave will only adversely affect our efficiency.
23rd July 2015 From India, Mumbai
some organizations have compassionate leave. just google about it and you can get to know more about it.
24th July 2015 From India, Delhi
Hello Akriti,

Like Umakanthan suggested, can you elaborate on the genesis of this in your organization....meaning why did this proposal come-up, how many types of leaves do you currently have, the organizational structure/strength, etc

In principle, this is a good concept from the HR angle. But like Nathrao mentioned, the long-term consequences also need to be thought of before formulating & implementing.

@ Delyte--

Guess you are mixing-up the Govt/PSU type of work culture with the PRESENT-DAY private sector work culture.

I am not sure of your count when you mentioned 'we in India already have too many holidays'--most Private sector Companies have only CLs & PL/ELs....with some also having sick/medical leaves. However the total Count per year is the same.

It all depends on 'how' it's projected by the Company to the employees & MORE IMPORTANTLY how the policies are implemented.

If you follow the news, many large Indian Companies--Godrej, etc--have now taken-off from MNCs & introduced Paternity Leaves. Until recently, this would have been unthinkable in the Indian context.....with the general mindset being 'what will the father do when it's the mother who's delivered the kid'.


25th July 2015 From India, Hyderabad

Like maternity leave, this leave should not be considered in the EL. Many countries do provide this type of leave in their laws. Here is the sample entitlement policy (From another country's labour act than india):


Bereavement Leave Entitlement:

There are two separate entitlements to bereavement leave after six months’ employment:

1. On the death of an immediate family member, the Act provides for up to three days’ paid leave. This can be taken at any time and for any purpose genuinely relating to the death. “Immediate family members” are the employee’s spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild or the spouse’s parent. Where there is more than one bereavement, the employee is entitled to three days’ bereavement leave in respect of each death.

2. In the event of a death outside the immediate family that causes a person to suffer bereavement, up to one day’s paid leave may be taken if the employer accepts that the employee has suffered bereavement. In considering whether a bereavement has occurred, the employer should take into consideration:

- how close the association was between the employee and the other person

- whether the employee is responsible for any aspects of the ceremonies around the death

- whether the employee has any cultural responsibilities they need to fulfil in respect of the death


Best Regards,

Amod Bobade.
25th July 2015
Hi Akriti,
I have started the bereavement policy in my HR manual.
I have given the two options.
1. If the death of the immediate family member e.g. spouse,child,parent,sibling,grandparent or grandchildren and employees has to covered a distance up to 200 kms.or less then he is entitled to get two days paid leaves.
2. If the distance he has to covered to reach that place which is more than 200 kms. then we have the provision for four days paid leaves.
Deepak Sharma
25th July 2015
I respect your feelings, however there is no such law. Here, I would like to add that if the person was dearer one you should help him by way of monetary benefit and due sympathy which I think will boost up morale of the employee and in turn you will also be benefited.
25th July 2015 From India, Lucknow
Dear Akhriti,
A leave is a benefit to the employee and it is at the discretion of the organisation to allow the same . If your wish to have a leave around the same ,a policy would need to be drafted in consultation with your COE Team and Management. The details should clearly call out the Objective ,the days and guidelines, Process of application and approval . Many organisations incorporate it as a part of their leave policy where they would enumerate the no of days and call out the application process .
I hope this should help you .
27th July 2015 From India, Chennai
Dear Friend,

Leave is not a right, it is the facility, mutual consent, by the organisation and the employee..sometimes, leave is a motivating factor...Every country have national leave which is not considered here...

1) Bereavement leave- what is sorrow? It differs person to person, death of wife, father, mother, children, everything falls in this category, irrespective of this, the whole state mourns on the death of national leader, and the whole organisation have to shut down on that particular day to avoid damages by the political parties or vested interest of the public/affected people..

2) Casual leave is the criteria sanctioned to the employee to avail the same on untoward incidents/accidents or the situation warrant as and when required, the lies of employee become a natural justice to claim casual leave and many a organisation never questions and sanction leave knowingly the nature...

3) When we implement bereavement leave what happen to the casual leave that is available to the employee, or bereavement is a part of casual leave or separate issue, the organisations certainly would like to raise the issue and we expect a turnaround...

4) In case, bereavement is accepted as a part of an organisation where the excess leave clipped or reduced, which organisation would like to implement bereavement leave with whom the authority to incorporate the same in the leave rules..

5) When leave is taken for bereavement in excess of casual leave the same need be regularised by the sanctioning authority for the benefit of the employee as well as for the organisation by giving full salary without deductions, this is a motivating factor for the employee and the fact is the employer will not loose the employee on this grounds from being to regularise?

6)So before implementing bereavement leave all sectors should be consulted as this have an impact on the casual leave sanctioned to the employee by the employer without scrutinising for the same..

7)How can you assess an employee really wanted bereavement leave? Can we claim death certificates or the incidents of the sorrow really need be considered, the question is a want of veracity in all counts?

Best of luck...bereavement is the time factor of change, let it be examined..
27th July 2015 From India, Arcot
Dear Gopinath,
Casual leave is generally restricted by policy to less than 2 days.... as it is not expected that the 'casual' reason behind it will remain more than 2 days.
Whereas Bereavement leave can extend beyond 2-3 days.
Bereavement leave is not for 'compensation to the sorrow', but it is to facilitate the time to process necessory/mandatory social, cultural, & personal activities following the death in family.
In case of a death of national leader, this is not requried, hence it cannot be considered in bereavement leave.
Also, It will be inhumane to ask to submit the death certificate after bereavement leave.... Airlines do that for their special fares, but then the customers are not their employees & they do not maintain long term relations with these customers.
Best Regards,
Amod Bobade.
28th July 2015
Deepak Kaushik
Nice to see some one introducing bereavement leave.
But how do you verify the existence of grandfather etc.
i had a case where a person came asking for leave saying Grand father dead.
His leave was sanctioned and he left,later from his older records one more such grandfather being dead emerged.
All employees do not play fair at times.
28th July 2015 From India, Pune
Hello Nathrao,
You have a point about some employees misusing such facilities by the Employer.
There would need to be a one-time effort by the HR to collect ALL dependents of each employee--with corroborating proofs like Ration card, etc where the address ought to be that of the employee--that could form the basis of any such leaves being granted in the future.
Let's face it--ANY & EVERY Rule/Law/object is always likely to be misused even though the intent is to enable positive usage. The caliber of the one who drafts & finalizes the Rule/Law lies in enhancing the positives while ALSO incorporating such clauses to layout clear consequences whenever any misuse occurs.
29th July 2015 From India, Hyderabad
Your point about someone misusing is well taken and positive usage should be kept in mind.
But collecting and updating particulars of close relatives is a big effort and in my mind a diversion from other more important duties.
Compassionate leave can always be considered to cover such circumstances.
29th July 2015 From India, Pune
Thought perception of your organization is quite appreciable. Needless to emphasize the occassions can be very rare in the lives of the employees to avail the type of such leave, say on death of spouse, parents or any other really dependant family member. So, there should not be any place of negative thinking about the type of leave. ONLY POSITIVE THINKING CAN LEAD TO POSITIVE PRODUCTIVITY, as that would prove to be quite a good motivating incentive/ concession, as a matter of employee-friendly policy to help instilling high level of loyalty towards the organization on the part of the employees. That may also discourage the instances of employee attrition that causes heavy loss to the organisation in terms of productivity and cost of recruitment.

The policy of bereavement leave would necessarily be required to be framed with particular reference to the local customs & rituals in death of any person. However, in case of death of any dignitary in the company, the management can think about the number of days of closure of office, as a whole, depending upon the status of the deceased executive.
10th August 2015 From India, Delhi
@Nathrao : A Direct family member would be parents, spouse, siblings or children.
@TajSatheesh: Recently, one of our employees lost his wife hence the situation. The total employee strength at the moment is 50-55 with an expansion plan of hiring a few more. We do have good amount of leaves otherwise which shouldnt really affect the bereavement policy and i do understand that this kind of a policy is more inclined towards sentiments and compassion, hence I was looking to know what are the bereavement leaves which other established and big companies have just to understand how it works.
Thanks to the rest for your suggestions and feedback.
13th August 2015 From India, Pune
Message to Mr/Ms Delyte , You remark on leaves in India is most damaging and insensitive. It would be better if you were to look around other countries on the number of leaves employees have & avail. I assure you will be a changed person
1st September 2015
Please find attached Data pertaining to some countries regarding “average annual hours actually worked per worker”. Data concerns workers only. Data does include workers moonlighting, paid and unpaid work. The Data has been sourced from internet and do not comprise information pertaining to India.
For India related insight, Hon’ble members may like to refer Indians work 8.1 hours a day, more than many Westerners - The Times of India
Many of us like if Hon’ble members compare their employer organization data and let us know where actually do they stand.
Further, data can be analyzed with developed/ developing economies, eastern/ western/ new world economies and don’t forget to enlighten the others with your findings.
2nd September 2015 From India, New Delhi

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