Bereavement Allowance: Benefits and Guidelines For Employers and Employees
Written by: Rinaily Bonifacio
Last updated: 26 September 2023
Table of contents
- What is bereavement allowance?
- How many days can employees get off as bereavement allowance?
- What are the benefits of bereavement allowance?
- Loss of which family members are covered in bereavement allowance?
- How to deal with bereavement allowance as an employer?
- How should companies set their bereavement policy?
- How does bereavement allowance help employers?
- How can employees claim their bereavement allowance payment?
What is bereavement allowance?
Bereavement allowance is a type of financial support offered by an employer to employees after the death of a family member or loved one. This allowance is meant to supplement the lost income caused by an employee's absence from work due to bereavement.
The amount of the allowance and the length of time it is offered varies depending on the employer. Still, typically bereavement allowances are granted for anywhere from one to six weeks.
The Bereavement Service Helpline can be useful for those seeking support and information after losing a loved one.
How many days can employees get off as bereavement allowance?
The amount of time off allowed for bereavement varies from employer to employer. Some employers offer up to several weeks, while others grant only a few days.
Employees should speak to their manager or human resources department to determine what bereavement allowance is available at their workplace.
What are the benefits of bereavement allowance?
Bereavement allowance can be an important financial lifeline for employees during difficult times. Not only does it provide much-needed financial support, but it also allows employees to take the time they need to grieve.
Here are some other benefits of bereavement allowance:
- Financial Support: The bereavement allowance provides financial support to the surviving spouse or civil partner of the deceased, which can help them cover their living expenses and maintain their standard of living.
- Transitional Period: The allowance provides a transitional period of financial support to the bereaved spouse or partner, which can help them adjust to their new circumstances and make the necessary arrangements.
- Flexibility: The bereavement allowance is flexible and can be used to cover any expenses that the beneficiary may have, including household bills, mortgage or rent payments, and other living expenses.
- Easy Application Process: The application process for bereavement allowance is relatively straightforward and does not require the beneficiary to provide a lot of documentation or paperwork.
- Widowed Parent's Allowance: One of the benefits available under this scheme is the Widowed Parent's allowance, which provides extra financial help to parents raising children under 18 who have lost their spouse or civil partner.
- Child Benefit: Child Benefits may also be available to those raising children. It is important to note that the amount of bereavement allowance received depends on the age of the surviving spouse or civil partner and their state pension age.
Please note that these benefits may differ from the new bereavement support payment.
Loss of which family members are covered in bereavement allowance?
The bereavement allowance covers the loss of a:
- Spouse or civil partner
In some cases, if a civil partner died, their surviving partner may be eligible to claim bereavement support payments.
Again, checking with one's employer or a tax specialist is recommended to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Claiming Bereavement Support Payment for the Death of a Civil Partner
Surviving partners of a deceased civil partner may be eligible to claim bereavement support payment, which can provide financial assistance during this difficult period.
They must contact their local Social Security office or fill out an online claim form to claim this payment. They may need to provide documentation such as the civil partnership certificate and the deceased partner's death certificate.
It is important to note that the payment is taxable, and the amount varies based on eligibility criteria and individual circumstances.
How to deal with bereavement allowance as an employer?
As an employer, supporting your employees during difficult times, such as losing a loved one is important. Here are some ways you can help employees deal with bereavement allowance:
Be Understanding And Flexible
Bereavement is a challenging time for anyone, and it's important to be understanding and flexible with your employees. Allow them to take the necessary time off to deal with their loss and attend to their matters.
Communicate Your Support
Let your employees know that you support them during this difficult time. Offer your condolences and let them know you are there for them if they need support.
Provide Information About Bereavement Allowance
Provide information about bereavement allowance to your employees. Let them know they may be eligible for this benefit and provide them with the necessary information to apply.
Provide Access To Counseling Services
Consider providing access to counseling services for your employees who are dealing with grief. This can help them manage their emotions and cope with their loss.
Be Patient And Supportive
Dealing with grief can be a long and difficult process. Be patient and supportive with your employees as they navigate this challenging time. Offer them the support they need to grieve and recover.
How should companies set their bereavement policy?
Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and companies need a bereavement policy to support their employees during this time.
Here are some tips for setting a bereavement policy for your company:
Determine The Scope Of The Policy
Determine the scope of your bereavement policy, including who has covered claim bereavement benefits, the length of leave, and whether the policy applies to immediate family members only or other loved ones.
Define the bereavement leave period.
Define the bereavement leave period, including the number of days or weeks employees can take off for bereavement and whether the leave is paid or unpaid.
Include Eligibility Requirements
Include eligibility requirements for bereavement leave, such as the time an employee must have worked for the company before being eligible for the benefit.
Specify Required Documentation
Specify the documentation employees must provide to access bereavement leave, such as a death certificate or obituary notice.
Consider Additional Support
Consider offering additional support to employees dealing with grief, such as access to counseling services or financial assistance with funeral expenses.
Communicate The Policy Clearly
Communicate the bereavement policy clearly to all employees, and ensure that they understand the eligibility requirements, documentation requirements, and guidelines for communication.
Is Bereavement Support Payment taxable?
Bereavement Support Payment is not currently taxable in the UK. This means you do not have to pay income tax on your payment. However, it's important to note that this may change in the future, as tax laws and regulations are subject to change.
How does bereavement allowance help employers?
Here is how it helps employers:
Employee Retention: Providing bereavement allowance and time off can help employers retain employees by showing that they value and support their well-being.
Increased Productivity: When employees are given time to grieve and attend to personal matters, they may return to work with a clearer mind and be more productive.
Positive Workplace Culture: Employers can create a positive workplace culture that demonstrates compassion and care by providing bereavement allowance and support to their employees.
How can employees claim their bereavement allowance payment?
Here is how they can do it:
- Understand The Company Policy: Employees should understand their company's bereavement policy, including eligibility requirements, documentation requirements, and length of leave available.
- Submit An Application: Employees should apply to their employer to claim their bereavement allowance payment. The application should include details about the deceased, the relationship to the employee, and dates of bereavement leave.
- Provide Required Documentation: Depending on the company policy, employees may need to provide documentation such as a death certificate or obituary notice to access the bereavement payment.
- Follow Up With The Employer: Employees should follow up with their employer to ensure their application has been received and processed. They should also communicate their expected return to work date and any additional support needed.
- Seek Additional Support If Needed: Employees may also seek additional support, such as counseling services or financial assistance, to help them cope with their loss.
Bereavement allowance is an important benefit the company offers, as it allows employees to grieve for their loved ones without worrying about job security. A well-crafted policy can also boost workplace productivity and create unity among employees.
When creating a bereavement policy, employers should consider local laws, cultural values, and employee needs to ensure everyone's rights and personal time are respected. Ultimately, such a policy will benefit employers and employees by maintaining high company morale.
Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.
Please note that the information on our website is intended for general informational purposes and not as binding advice. The information on our website cannot be considered a substitute for legal and binding advice for any specific situation. While we strive to provide up-to-date and accurate information, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information on our website for any purpose. We are not liable for any damage or loss arising from the use of the information on our website.
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