Organisations are increasingly introducing facilities to ensure employee well-being, engagement and productivity.
HR policies in organisations are changing fast with the modification of existing policies and introduction of new ones. Changes are being made keeping in mind the employees, and focusing on parental leave, maternity leave, period leave, and so on. We all agree that employees are valuable assets for all organisations. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the organisations to take care of them.
A new HR trend that is emerging fast today is that of Bereavement Leave. Organisations have started offering one to five days of leave to their employees, to help them cope with the loss of their near and dear ones. These leaves help the employee overcome the grief and pain, regain composure and also charge up to join the office in a better mood. Earlier, the absence of such policies might have impacted the productivity of the employees. But with this policy being adopted in several companies, employee morale is going to get a boost for sure.
This trend was started by Facebook, when it gave leave to its COO Sheryl Sandberg who lost her husband in 2015. She admitted that the leave gave her the much-needed break to recuperate from the grief of losing her husband, and it would have been difficult to rejoin immediately. Thereafter, the Company decided to give a 20-day bereavement leave to its employees.
In India, companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Cipla and Hilton offer bereavement leave of one to five days. Earlier, the employees needed to apply for this leave.
Some organisations also offer pet bereavement leave to mourn the loss of their pets.
We must note that there is no law which mandates bereavement leave, but companies are just offering the facility to attract and retain employees, and also increase employee engagement and productivity.
The leave is given for only the loss of immediate family members, such as spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandkids. The extended relatives are not included in this leave.
There are some companies, which offer flexibility to work from home or flexible office timings to bereaved employees. Some companies also provide counselling to support the bereaved employees and ensure their emotional well-being.
These small policies in favor of employees show how much these companies care for their workforce.