Bereavement Leave Definition

Bereavement leave is time off afforded to an employee due to the death of a family member or a close personal friend. Bereavement leave may be paid or unpaid, and it is not a mandatory benefit.

Bereavement Leave Extended Definition:
Bereavement leave gives employees a specific amount of paid or unpaid time off after the passing of a family member or friend. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require bereavement leave, but offering it can provide support to grieving employees.

Employees may be able to use bereavement leave to:

  • Cope with the death of a loved one
  • Make funeral arrangements
  • Attend the funeral
  • Manage the estate

Many businesses provide three business days off for bereavement time for immediate family members. But, the amount of time an employee receives depends on company policy. Create a bereavement time off policy that details time off, qualifying situations, whether the time is paid or unpaid, and the approval process.

Often, bereavement leave is in addition to any paid time off and sick leave.

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Last Updated By

Rachel Blakely-Gray | Feb 15, 2023

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