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Bereavement leave gives an employee time to grieve and to handle matters related to the death of someone close to them. Bereavement leave is covered by sections 62 to 72 of the Holidays Act 2003.

An employee is entitled to 3 days of bereavement leave when a close relative dies. This includes an employee’s spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, and their spouse’s or partner’s parent.

An employee is entitled to 1 day of bereavement leave on the death of any other person if the employer accepts that the employee has suffered a bereavement. When deciding whether to accept a request or not, you must consider how close the employee was to the deceased person, whether they have to take significant responsibility for the arrangements relating to the person’s death, and any cultural responsibilities the employee has related to the death.

Employees are required to notify their employer as soon as possible if they need to take bereavement leave.

There is no maximum number of bereavements an employee may suffer. Bereavement leave entitlements are for every bereavement an employee suffers.

There is no bereavement leave entitlement within the first 6 months of employment, but you decide to give employees bereavement leave during that time anyway. Because bereavement leave is an event based entitlement rather than a cumulative one, there is no future entitlement from which to deduct bereavement leave.

For each day of bereavement leave taken, you are required to pay the employee's relevant daily pay - that is, what the employee would probably have earned had they been at work. If it’s not possible or practical to determine relevant daily pay you may use average daily pay instead.

To calculate average daily pay when paying bereavement leave, select the 52 week average payment method.