Skip to main content

Bereavement, caring and compassionate leave policy

The death, serious illness or caring needs of a relative, partner or dependant affects every individual differently. The personal circumstances surrounding each situation must therefore be taken into account.

1. death or serious illness

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. This entitlement is in addition to the leave granted under sections 2 and 3, below.

Leave up to a maximum of one week may be granted by the line manager in consultation with their appropriate senior manager as necessary (Director of Operations for school-based Professional and Support staff and T&S staff, Head of School for academic and research staff or Director of Professional Service department for non-school-based Professional and Support staff) who should at all times treat the request with sympathy.

2. parental bereavement

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 Assistant HR Business Partner.

3. entitlement for carers

The College provides a separate entitlement of a maximum of one week’s paid leave within a rolling 12-month period for an employee to undertake caring responsibilities for a dependent with long term needs.

A person is a dependant of an employee if they -

  1. are a spouse, civil partner, child or parent of the employee,
  2. live in the same household as the employee, otherwise than by reason of being the employee’s boarder, employee, lodger or tenant, or
  3. reasonably rely on the employee to provide or arrange care.

“Long term needs” is defined as:

  1. Anyone with a condition that meets the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010;
  2. Illness or injury (physical or mental) that requires or is likely to require care for more than three months, or;
  3. Old age.

The leave may be taken as half or full days, up to and including taking a block of a whole week of leave at once.

4. procedure for making and authorising requests

All requests will need to be discussed and approved by the line manager and in consultation with the appropriate senior manager. 

Line managers must record any agreed leave under this policy. 

The entitlements under this policy exist from day one of employment with the College.

Entitlements are on a pro-rata basis for part-time employees.

Should an employee require additional time off, this may be considered. Such requests should be made to the line manager, however, for any significant extension of the leave entitlement set out in this document, the line manager must seek advice from the Human Resources Business Partnering Team.