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Funeral - how much time off work is reasonable?

(20 Posts)
Laugh1ngloudly Thu 23-Feb-17 21:09:23

In the last few weeks I have had to take time off work to visit my dad who was getting very ill, and then again when he died. In total, I've had 5 days off work. Things are slightly complicated by living abroad and having to fly back to the UK. The funeral is in a couple of weeks time, so yet again I've needed to ask for more time off. How much do you think is reasonable? I would like to go the day before, but I'm being asked to consider going the night before. This will mean getting in very late with 2 kids though, and I really don't want the whole thing to be rushed the night before a funeral.

TeaBelle Thu 23-Feb-17 21:11:35

Sorry for your loss. I think each company is hugely variable. If the worst comes, could you take the day before as holiday so you don't feel pressured

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 23-Feb-17 21:17:19

Im sorry for your loss flowers

Does your employer have a compassionate leave policy? Where I work it's 3 days for a first degree relative (spouse, parent, sibling etc) and one day for other relatives (cousins, uncles etc). But you can only get compassionate leave once per leave year. If you want to take additional time you need to take it out of annual leave. So it sounds as though your employer has bern quite generous in comparison.

Can you negotiate some unpaid leave from your employer? I hope you manage to sort something out.

SellFridges Thu 23-Feb-17 21:18:34

The company I work for, which is global and huge, would give whatever time was needed. There would be no questions asked.

Laugh1ngloudly Thu 23-Feb-17 21:20:33

Thank you for your help and advice. Sadly, annual leave is set (I'm a teacher) so I can't take the day before as annual leave. I guess I'll either have to leave late or take unpaid leave.
Thanks for showing me that I am, perhaps, being a little unreasonable!

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 23-Feb-17 21:22:42

It's your father's funeral so I think your workplace is being horribly unreasonable. It's not like you are on a jolly. I'm sorry for your loss.

wrinkleseverywhere Thu 23-Feb-17 21:24:13

I don't think you are being unreasonable! Everyone is different. Some people I know have been back at work the day after a parent died & just had the day of the funeral plus travel time off; others haven't come back between the death and the funeral (or, indeed, for weeks afterwards) having been signed off sick.

wrinkleseverywhere Thu 23-Feb-17 21:26:41

PS if flying, i don't think it is unreasonable to ask your employer to give some consideration to the vagaries which accompany flying. You can't risk missing your flight or your flight being delayed. This is your father's funeral. It would be dreadful to miss it yet it can't be re-arranged of your flight has been delayed by a storm for example.

bellabelly Thu 23-Feb-17 21:29:47

Yes, I agree with kalinka. I'm a teacher too and I would NOT be impressed if my school were "encouraging" me to travel the night before for a parent's funeral. Given that you live abroad, I would expect them to be very generous about time off for it actually, having to travel on a flight is obviously more time consuming and more exhausting. Don't under-estimate how drained you might feel. And if they're really being awkward, insist on having the time but unpaid. And then start looking for a more compassionate employer! Sorry for your loss.

MaudGonneMad Thu 23-Feb-17 21:50:15

Surely 3 days at the very least for the funeral of a parent.

Sorry for your loss.

greenworm Thu 23-Feb-17 21:53:51

I'm so sorry for your loss. I am also abroad, and had about 8 or 9 days off when my father died, the first chunk to go home to mum and organise stuff and the second to actually chunk to attend funeral. My e.ployer was very supportive. It's a Shane yours is less so - do you know your legal rights re: bereavement leave, unpaid leave etc?

Munchkin1412 Thu 23-Feb-17 21:53:57

Sorry for your loss OP. I'm a bit surprised they're not being more compassionate - it's not like you'd be functioning well at work anyway. Shocked at the company that gives three days for loss of a spouse! Bloody hell. Husband or wife dies on a Sunday, you're expected back in work on Thursday - surely no company would enforce that?

greenworm Thu 23-Feb-17 21:55:23

*the second chunk to actually attend

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 23-Feb-17 22:51:31

Munchkin I work in the public sector, it's very standard. You are right, if my husband or child died I can't imagine returning to work 3 days later. I think the expectation is that you would get signed off sick until you felt well.enough to return to work.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 24-Feb-17 07:03:35

One of my team has just lost a parent. She has had 8 days of compassionate leave - a week after the death itself and then 3 days for the funeral. I'd have been happy for her to take up to 10 days, and indeed, encouraged her to do so.

I think your employer is being a little unreasonable, especially given that your father lived abroad and you have to fly.

I'm so sorry for your loss.flowers

greenfolder Fri 24-Feb-17 07:14:30

Reasonable is the amount of time it takes you to fly here allowing a reasonable time to adjust and face the funeral in a reasonable frame of mind.
Is the issue that your employer is unsupportive of the time away or just that they wont pay you?

Chrisinthemorning Fri 24-Feb-17 07:14:38

I'm so sorry flowers
As it's your Dad I think a week or 2 of compassionate leave would be to be expected. I doubt many people would be in a fit state to go to work in between the death and the funeral. As you are abroad a day or 2 to recover from the funeral and travel home would be expected as well I would think.
I'm sure a Dr would sign you off with stress/ grief if you needed them to?
flowers

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 24-Feb-17 07:23:58

That does sound rather draconian but if you live abroad there may be different cultural expectations. I think it is worth trying to arrange the funeral just before or just after the weekend so you get a couple more days.

Laugh1ngloudly Sun 26-Feb-17 21:05:49

Thank you everyone for your support and advice. I got myself tied up in knots emotionally about this! It's weird that it's the little things that send you over...

Flixybelle Wed 01-Mar-17 00:02:04

I am sorry for your loss. I work in a school and recently suffered a bereavement I intended to return to work straight away and then take 2 days off for the funeral. My HT told me not to come back until after the funeral so a total of 7 working days off. I did not expect that but it made the world of difference to me. A teaching colleague lost her dad and she took 4 weeks off. I don't think its unreasonable at all to take 3/4 days off to travel home attend, surely a little time to be with your family and grieve as well.

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