Policy and Guidelines

An employee may be granted bereavement leave on full pay of up to 3 days on account of the death of a member of their immediate family or household for the purposes of making funeral arrangements or attending the funeral.

Bereavement leave would not normally be granted beyond the date of the funeral.

In considering applications for bereavement leave, it is important to note that each case should be considered on its merits.

Immediate family includes:

  • the spouse or domestic partner (including a former spouse or former domestic partner) of the employee. A domestic partner means a person to whom the employee is not married but with whom the employee is living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis (irrespective of gender), and
  • a child or an adult child (including an adopted child, a stepchild or an ex nuptial child), parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee or spouse of the employee

The above includes step-relations (e.g. step-parents) as well as adoptive relations.

The principal may grant paid leave to an employee in the event of a death of a person who is not a member of the employee's immediate family or household in special circumstances such as the death of a:

  • foster parent or foster child
  • relative who has taken the place of a parent
  • person where the employee is the only relative of the deceased person and is the only person available to make the funeral arrangements
  • person with whom the employee had a close relationship that is akin to that of an immediate family relationship and would not, for example, include friendships or normal acquaintances between people

Bereavement leave, with or without pay, in excess of that specified above may be granted if the principal is satisfied that 3 days is inadequate because of special circumstances such as where extensive travelling is required.

Employees experiencing grief may also apply for other leave, both paid and unpaid, such as annual leave, additional paid leave (education support class), personal leave, long service leave or leave without pay. Applications for other forms of leave should be made in accordance with the relevant policy.

Bereavement leave is not granted for the execution of any legal business associated with the death of a relative. Leave without pay may be granted for this purpose.

Supporting documentation

For applications on account of bereavement, a death or funeral notice should be provided with advice establishing the employee’s relationship to the deceased.

Department policy and guidelines on bereavement leave upon death of a member of immediate family or household

Reviewed 03 August 2020

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