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Your Rights to Time Off For Funerals

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Funeral Death Time Grief Notice Paid

Attending a funeral is difficult enough without having to worry about keeping your boss happy. Invariably, needing to attend a funeral will mean that you have lost someone important to you, so you will be dealing with your own feelings of grief, as well as trying to maintain composure at work.

Speak to Your Manager

It is important to keep your manager informed of the situation, as simply not coming into work one day will not help them to be sympathetic.

If you need to attend the funeral of a friend or relative that has been ill, let your boss or line manager know. Although you may prefer not to bring your private life into your workplace, this is bound to be an emotional time. If you let your employers know what is happening, they can be more understanding and allow time off for attending appointments or to help care for your friend or relative.

Compassionate Leave

Depending on your relationship to the person that is very ill or has died, you may be entitled to some Compassionate Leave, either to help care for them or to deal with your own grief.

The legal guidelines set out by the Government talks about ‘time off for dependants’, but as this only refers to emergencies, if your employer is particularly strict, they may not give you time off if you knew the person was ill.

Most employers will allow employees to take Unpaid Leave To Attend Funerals, although they may allow it to be paid time if the person concerned was a close relative, next of kin or dependant.

Wherever possible, give your employer notice of your plan to take time off for a funeral as they will probably need to arrange additional cover. It can be difficult to remember at this time that your workplace still needs to continue, which can make your boss or line manager seem rather harsh in these circumstances.

If you feel as though you have been treated unfairly for any reason, the ACAS website is a great source of official information regarding employment law. They also have a telephone advice line.

Employee Handbook

Although it may be the last thing you feel like doing, do consult your employee handbook. Depending on the size of your company, there may be an official procedure for taking time off to attend funerals, which can make it easier when you go to speak to your boss or line manager.

If you have come back to work after the death of someone important to you but you are finding it hard to concentrate on your work, you may ask your workplace for some time off. They may simply suggest you take a day or two to look after yourself, in which case they may or may not pay you – do check this will your HR department first or you may end up more stressed than before as you won’t know what’s happening.

If the time of the funeral you are attending is in the morning, don’t necessarily think that you will feel able to come back to work in the afternoon. They are very difficult occasions, so you may be better taking a full day off, even if you have to use a half days holiday.

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[Add a Comment]
If my friend and i are in the same workplace and would both like to be there do the work have the right to refuse us a day off if the person was like a mother to us??
Gettyx - 1-Nov-18 @ 5:36 PM
Kylej - Your Question:
My partners nan passed away and my boss declined me going to the funeral? Can he stop me from going??

Our Response:
Yes, unfortunately your employer can prevent you from going to the funeral. It is at his discretion.
WorkingRights - 7-Aug-18 @ 11:28 AM
My partners nan passed away and my boss declined me going to the funeral? Can he stop me from going??
Kylej - 6-Aug-18 @ 7:27 PM
Nickyyy - Your Question:
My best friend got killed and work wouldn't allow me the time of due to other people off. They didn't believe me and I had to provide evidence. Is that right? I missed my best friends funeral because of this which I was devastated for. What can I do?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there is little you can do regarding this matter. It is at your employer's discretion whether your employer allows you time off for a funeral.
WorkingRights - 30-Jul-18 @ 2:15 PM
My best friend got killed and work wouldn't allow me the time of due to other people off. They didn't believe me and I had to provide evidence. Is that right? I missed my best friends funeral because of this which I was devastated for. What can i do?
Nickyyy - 28-Jul-18 @ 12:27 AM
Emma - Your Question:
Hi, I just started a new job as it has only been 2 weeks. My grandmother passed away and I need to request 5-6 days of for the funeral witch is in one week. Will I get fired for this or can my employer say I can’t go? Thanks.

Our Response:
Your employer has the right to allow or refuse your request. You would have to speak to your employer directly regarding this.
WorkingRights - 23-Jul-18 @ 10:45 AM
Hi, I just started a new job as it has only been 2 weeks. My grandmother passed away and I need to request 5-6 days of for the funeral witch is in one week. Will I get fired for this or can my employer say I can’t go? Thanks.
Emma - 22-Jul-18 @ 7:54 AM
Hi I have had my annual leave authorised last month which is from 31st to the 14thaugust. I work 2 days a week and Unfortunately my father in law died at weekend I had this week off as my husband was his next of kin and we had to empty his flat in a week for the council, we haven't heard back from coroner til end of week so I asked my work for next week as compassionate leave to help him organise funeral and register death etc. I was told that they would have to find out as that means me not being there more than 3 weeks, can they take my annual leave back off me? Or refuse me compassionate leave? Thanks
Mum2girls - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:59 AM
Abx - Your Question:
Hi, I started a new job but my grandfathers partner has passed away so I will need time off. Will I get paid for this as she was my grandmother just not by blood? Thanks

Our Response:
Whether your employer gives you time off and whether the time off is paid or unpaid is at your employer's discretion. However, if you have started a new job, if your employer gives you time off it is likely to be unpaid.
WorkingRights - 13-Jul-18 @ 11:24 AM
Hi, I started a new job but my grandfathers partner has passed away so I will need time off. Will I get paid for this as she was my grandmother just not by blood? Thanks
Abx - 12-Jul-18 @ 12:18 PM
My nan got diagnosed with cancer on the 17th may, she lived in Devon and I live in derby - meaning it's around a 6 hour journey. When I found out I booked 2 weeks off to see her, as she had a month to live (22/5 - 3/6) Sadly she died on the day I went down suddenly (22/5) and I stayed in Devon beacuse of not feeling great, and I'm with all my family who live there. The body then had to have a post mortem because of problems that the hospital had, which meant she died more sudden because of a mistake. So the funeral was delayed until the 15/6 - but because of the journey time I've asked for a day each side to allow for travel (14/6, 15/6, 16/6) and said I'm happy to work extra hours in-between. The managers just messaged me (I work at Gregg's the bakery) saying I will not be allowed to have the dates off as she has it booked off as holiday, and I'm needed to work. If I'm honest I'll just call in sick. I don't really. Care, but what are my rights regarding being allowed to have it off?
Craig - 5-Jun-18 @ 5:30 PM
My nan got diagnosed with cancer on the 17th may, she lived in Devon and I live in derby - meaning it's around a 6 hour journey. When I found out I booked 2 weeks off to see her, as she had a month to live (22/5 - 3/6) Sadly she died on the day I went down suddenly (22/5) and I stayed in Devon beacuse of not feeling great, and I'm with all my family who live there. The body then had to have a post mortem because of problems that the hospital had, which meant she died more sudden because of a mistake. So the funeral was delayed until the 15/6 - but because of the journey time I've asked for a day each side to allow for travel (14/6, 15/6, 16/6) and said I'm happy to work extra hours in-between. The managers just messaged me (I work at Gregg's the bakery) saying I will not be allowed to have the dates off as she has it booked off as holiday, and I'm needed to work. If I'm honest I'll just call in sick. I don't really. Care, but what are my rights regarding being allowed to have it off?
Craig - 5-Jun-18 @ 4:54 PM
Al - Your Question:
My fran died and im ment to attend her funeral.i am also a driver for my father who had a major stroke 2 weeks prior to to her death.funerals 4 hrs away from where we live so I booked day off as soon as I found out the date of funeral.my boss now wants a copy of death cert which I dont have due to it been my grandma is my boss just a a hole and takeing the piss

Our Response:
If you are booking the day off for the funeral on compassionate grounds, then your employer is entitled to ask for proof. You may be able to ask for a copy of the certificate from the relative who is looking after your grandmother's affairs.
WorkingRights - 24-May-18 @ 11:18 AM
My fran died and im ment to attend her funeral.i am also a driver for my father who had a major stroke 2 weeks prior to to her death.funerals 4 hrs away from where we live so i booked day off as soon as i found out the date of funeral.my boss now wants a copy of death cert which i dont have due to it been my grandma is my boss just a a hole and takeing the piss
Al - 23-May-18 @ 6:46 AM
Hi Thankyou for your reply. I have been granted the day of funeral off. Sorry for your losses to all commented and your difficultys
Stressedout - 3-Apr-18 @ 6:52 PM
@Drewy - I went to work the day after my dad died and just took the day off for the funeral. Most employers expect people to go into work within a day or so (unless you lose a child). But sometimes going back into work can be better as at least it takes your mind off things.
Alex - 29-Mar-18 @ 3:31 PM
Stressedout - Your Question:
Hi My Auntie (my mums sister) passed away very suddenly middle aged 4 months ago and due to difficult circumstances the funeral was delayed and is only taking place next week. I told my employer last week of date (so gave just under 2 weeks notice as much as possible) And have had no response regarding the dates but need to go into office to discuss. I think they are going to say I cannot have the time off. Where do I stand on this? I dont have a staff handbook and nothing mentioned in contract. Thankyou

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, though it is all down to negotiation directly with your employer. You can request annual leave or unpaid leave, if your employer will not allow you either there is little you can do. You would face risking a disciplinary if you go without your employer's consent.
WorkingRights - 29-Mar-18 @ 2:16 PM
Hi My Auntie (my mums sister) passed away very suddenly middle aged 4 months ago and due to difficult circumstances the funeral was delayed and is only taking place next week. I told my employer last week of date (so gave just under 2 weeks notice as much as possible) And have had no response regarding the dates but need to go into office to discuss... I think they are going to say I cannot have the time off. Where do I stand on this? I dont have a staff handbook and nothing mentioned in contract. Thankyou
Stressedout - 29-Mar-18 @ 1:01 AM
My great grandad died and he was like a dad to me I contacted my employer & they gave me time off for the death( I was at his bedside) I was very upset & took 3 days off after the death , as holiday, I then had the funeral off & again took two days off after that as was depressed & uoset plus it made me sick, I took these days as unpaid, I did inform my employer, but now I have returned to work & been given a verbal and written warning for excessive time off ( 5 days in all which I took as holiday & unpaid sick) they even said to me , how will I react when my grandma dies!!! Can they do this as I feel even more depressed now
Drewy - 27-Mar-18 @ 11:43 PM
Ange - Your Question:
My uncle die yesterday the funeral is Friday my job refuse to give me the day off what should I do

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can either request unpaid leave or annual leave. However, if your employer refuses, there is little you can do. If you attend without authorisation, then you could face a disciplinary.
WorkingRights - 27-Mar-18 @ 11:56 AM
My uncle die yesterday the funeral is Friday my job refuse to give me the day off what should I do
Ange - 26-Mar-18 @ 6:28 PM
NeNe - Your Question:
Im working thru the agency.I just got a call my grandad die. :(I am able to take couple days off and go for funeral ???

Our Response:
You would have to discuss this directly with your employer, as it is at your employer's discretion.
WorkingRights - 9-Mar-18 @ 2:46 PM
Im working thru the agency. I just got a call my grandad die... :( I am able to take couple days off and go for funeral???
NeNe - 9-Mar-18 @ 4:21 AM
@Milly - an employer can dismiss you if you go to a funeral without authorisation. Most employers are pretty flexible regarding taking time off for funerals if it is close family. But it's where they draw the line at 'close family' or friends. I think if a person has a 'funeral' every week, then obviously there would be an issue. But thankfully, funerals don't come along too often.
JoJo - 26-Feb-18 @ 12:59 PM
My sister mother in law past on but we were all very close I knew the auntie and my sister and husband was taking it rough My work place refused to give me time off all I asked for one day to help them and to say goodbye. I went to the funeral And I will take proof to them that I was there. Work places should know they working with people with feelings not robots My question is what can they do?
Milly - 26-Feb-18 @ 6:59 AM
Collo- Your Question:
I had 3 days of for my granddad funeral they have taken this off my holiday time but have not paid me holiday pay can they do this

Our Response:
Much depends upon what you agreed with your employer. However, your employer is not obligated to pay you for time off, it is up to your employer's discretion. You may also wish to give the terms and conditions of your contract a read, which may show your company policy regarding this matter.
WorkingRights - 20-Feb-18 @ 1:00 PM
I had 3 days of for my granddad funeral they have taken this off my holiday time but have not paid me holiday pay can they do this
Collo - 19-Feb-18 @ 7:36 PM
Nicky- Your Question:
Hi my wife's grandad more or less a dad, she is that close, is ill and has been given 3-7 days, I am also upset also as I have known him for 16 years and he is like my grandad, my wife is in pieces I have 2 children, when the time comes I need to be with my wife for a few days as she will be torn and I need to sort out the kids, ware do I stand as in when I phone up and say I can't make it in because of this with will they give me time off unpaid, and should I tell my employer now what's happening ?? It's a big company, I understand they could make me work but this won't happen, bit worried of what to say ?

Our Response:
Your best option is to discuss this directly with your employer. Your employer may have a policy with regards to taking compassionate leave, you may find these details in your employee's handbook. Please also see link here .
WorkingRights - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:58 PM
Hi my wife's grandad more or less a dad, she is that close, is ill and has been given 3-7 days, I am also upset also as I have known him for 16 years and he is like my grandad, my wife is in pieces I have 2 children, when the time comes I need to be with my wife for a few days as she will be torn and I need to sort out the kids, ware do I stand as in when I phone up and say I can't make it in because of this with will they give me time off unpaid, and should I tell my employer now what's happening ?? It's a big company, I understand they could make me work but this won't happen, bit worried of what to say ?
Nicky - 13-Feb-18 @ 4:51 PM
Gusty - Your Question:
My aunt died must my employer let me go to funeral at. My own expense

Our Response:
If you attend a funeral of a loved one, it would be at your own expense. Your employer is not obliged to allow you to go, it is at your employer's discretion.
WorkingRights - 9-Feb-18 @ 3:47 PM
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