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Fiona Mendel writes for People Management on tackling bereavement in the workplace

Senior Associate Fiona Mendel has written for People Management providing advice for employers on how best to support workers who experience the loss...

"Managers often struggle with how best to communicate with employees who have suffered a bereavement and management training is a particularly useful tool in this regard. If an employee feels they are being hounded back to work or put under unreasonable pressure, they may resign and pursue a tribunal claim. Dismissing an employee unreasonably for absence, or for errors made whilst suffering the effects of a bereavement could give rise to claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination especially if related to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or another mental health condition. 

Until more comprehensive legislation is introduced, businesses should proactively review their bereavement and related policies so employees know what support is on offer, how much time off and pay will be afforded and how their return to work will be managed. Signposting employees to counselling services and exploring flexibility such as a phased return often results in a speedier and more effective return and can go a long way to maintaining loyalty."

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