March 1996

When a death occurs in a staff member's family, reasonable time off will be granted. The required time off may be a combination of leave with pay, vacation, and leave without pay. As each case will be governed by unique circumstances, the department head or supervisor, in consultation with the staff member, will determine the appropriate commencement and duration of the leave. Normally, the leave will commence immediately following the death of a family member. Although it is preferable that the details be settled beforehand, circumstances may necessitate delaying this discussion until the staff member returns. In such cases, the staff member will communicate with the department Head or supervisor during the period of absence.

Bereavement Leave Entitlement

Normally, one to four calendar days' leave of absence, without loss of pay, is available to a staff member who experiences a death in her/his family. Consideration of the need to arrange for and/or to attend the funeral or memorial service, or to take care of related obligations, will form the basis upon which the duration of the absence will be assessed.

The following examples and definitions are provided to illustrate the application of bereavement leaves:

  1. A staff member who experiences a death in her/his immediate family is normally entitled to a leave of absence, without loss of pay, of four days. (Immediate family includes spouse, child, parent, or sibling.)
  2. A leave of absence, without loss of pay, of one day is normally available to a staff member for purposes of attending the funeral or memorial service of a distant family member. (Distant family includes aunts, uncles, or guardians.)

In cases indicating special personal needs, a staff member may be granted an extended bereavement leave, with pay, at the discretion of the department Head or supervisor.

A staff member may request approval for bereavement leave to be supplemented through the use of vacation or leave without pay.

When a death occurs in a staff member's family while the staff member is on scheduled vacation, the appropriate number of vacation days, equivalent to the bereavement entitlement, can be rescheduled at a time mutually agreeable to the staff member and the department Head or supervisor.