Human Resources

Bereavement and compassionate leave

The death or serious illness of a relative, partner or dependant affects every individual differently. The personal circumstances surrounding such an event must therefore be taken into account.

Employees may be granted paid leave to attend a funeral and to attend to urgent family affairs after a bereavement, or to provide care in the case of a serious illness.

Leave up to a maximum of five days may be granted by the line manager in consultation with their appropriate senior manager as necessary (Director of Operations for School based Professional & Support staff and T&S staff, Assistant Dean for Academic and Research staff or Director of Professional Service Department for non-School based Professional & Support staff) who should at all times treat the request with sympathy.

The personal circumstances surrounding the death or serious illness of a friend must also be taken into account and requests for paid time off will be considered sympathetically.

The College provides a separate entitlement to employees who are parents, upon the death of their child. Parental bereavement leave of two weeks on full pay will be granted to any College employee who was the parent of a child under the age of 18 who passed away on or after 6 April 2020. The law states that it must be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death. In general, the employee is entitled to this type of leave if they had parental responsibility for the child. This includes adoptive parents. It applies equally to parents who lose a child after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The time off can be taken in either a single two-week block or as two one-week periods. Advice on specific circumstances is available from your HR Business Partner.

Should an employee require additional time off with pay, this may be considered favourably. Such requests should be made to the line manager, however, for any significant extension of the five days paid leave provision (or two weeks for parental bereavement leave), the line manager must seek advice from Human Resources.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX