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Bereavement Leave and how to apply

Bereavement Leave and how to apply

Everything in this world eventually comes to an end, even lives. Death is inevitable and it is always the hardest on the living. Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to endure. It can be heart-wrenching and agonizing. As humans, we all need time to grief and reach the final stage of grief, which is acceptance.

A healthy way to respond to grief is to take time for oneself or be there for the family. Understanding this, organisations have introduced bereavement leave.

What is a Bereavement Leave?

Bereavement leave is a temporary leave (usually paid) taken by employees who have lost someone among their loved ones. The number of days of leave depends on the company but usually, it is for 3 to 5 days.

Why do people need Bereavement Leave?

People deal with grief in different ways. Most of us go through the five stages of grief, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some choose to focus on taking care of their family members, some choose to escape, some get lost in their work, while some choose to be alone. No matter how we choose to deal with it, there is one thing we all need: Time.

As professionals, you would need to know what you would have to do and take care of when it comes to your work during these uncertain times.

In this blog, let’s focus on how to apply for bereavement leave.

Call or text your Supervisor or Manager:

Unlike other leaves such as CL or EL, bereavement leave is something you cannot plan in advance. As soon as the news of the death reaches you, try to inform your supervisor or manager (the person you report to). You obviously won’t be able to write an application for leave then and there. So, call or text them to let them know that there has been a death in your family and that you would not be able to show up for work. Let them know that once you have gathered your thoughts and bearings, you would send them an email.

This way, you will have more time to figure out how many days of leave you would be needing and send the bereavement application email accordingly.

Write an application for Bereavement Leave:

The next step is to sit down and draft a bereavement leave application to send to your HR, supervisor or manager. Ensure that you CC everyone you mention in the email. For instance, if you have a backup plan wherein someone would be handling your responsibilities for the time being, mark them on the email as well. Mention how many days of leave you would be needing as well, start and end dates.

Triple check:

Before clicking on the ‘Send’ button, ensure that you proofread the email at least thrice. Make sure that the dates and names are correct.

Example of bereavement leave application

Dear John,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you to inform you of the passing of my ……… last night. As I would need to head home to take care of the funeral arrangements, I humbly request you to grant me 5 days of paid leave starting today i.e. the 21st of April, 2021 till the 25th of April, 2021.

Should you need to contact me, you can reach me on my cell phone. If, by any chance, you are unable to reach me, I have left instructions to Aurora Rose, the intern. She should be able to help you in my absence.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and would be very much obliged if you could kindly grant me this leave of absence.

Thanking you,


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Last modified: April 23, 2021