Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

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Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:05 am

This topic has sparked off some social media debates and was started by Facebook, which is granting its employees 20 days paid time off to grieve.


(Facebook) bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Facebook last week doubled its bereavement leave allowance for its staff. Employees can now take up to 20 days off with pay to mourn the death of an immediate family member.

The new policy was announced by Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who has spoken publicly about mourning her husband, Dave Goldberg, who died in 2015.

"We need public policies that make it easier for people to care for their children and aging parents and for families to mourn and heal after loss," Ms Sandberg posted on Facebook.

She added that companies that stand by the people who work for them do the right thing and "improve their bottom line by increasing the loyalty and performance of their workforce".

The move has sparked huge debate on social media and has been lauded as extremely generous. Is it enough? We asked the views of four people dealing with grief in the workplace.

Chad Andrews and his family returned home from an Alaskan cruise three years ago when his eight-year-old son, Connor, was rushed to hospital a few days later.

Connor had mild flu symptoms that suddenly worsened. He was placed in intensive care but deteriorated rapidly.

In June 2014, he died of myocarditis - an inflammation of the heart stemming from a virus.

Mr Andrews told the BBC that his life became a blur. He had lost an "exceptional, brilliant and beautiful" son and was left in shock.

But he forced himself to return to work a fortnight later even though he admits he wasn't very productive.

"When you're paralysed by grief and it's all your mind can absorb, the last thing you care about is work," he says. "I had no capacity to be in control or function in the everyday world."

Mr Andrews works at IBM where he builds technology platforms for video content. Officially, the company gives staff three days of bereavement leave but he says there was never any pressure for him to return.

After many stops and starts, it took him seven weeks to resume work full-time.

While he believes there is no magic formula, he says Facebook's 20 days bereavement leave "seems like a good best effort to set an effective benchmark".

But he adds that it depends on when the individual can function again.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38915693


There's simply no time limit on grief. Hard one to judge in my opinion.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:20 am

Smile

DEPENDS on the scale of the employer's business, as well..

While many small businesses may be prepared to allow a week or two for a spouse, parent or sibling, and a few days for other close family members;  most small businesses simply cannot afford to be as generous as many larger organisations..

It also becomes unfair on both temporary/part-time replacement workers and the rest of a workforce in smaller workplaces, if someone takes a few weeks of unpaid leave --  and then believe that they should be allowed to re-enter their employment at the same point they left; or maybe even that some small business should keep their positions open indefinitely..

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:57 am

It's a difficult one. Some people would rather be at work than grieving at home I guess, and others simply can't cope at work. If there are practical issues like looking after relatives, that would make a big difference, but in terms of personal and emotional ability to cope, people are all different.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:24 pm

My mum worked in the actual hospital me dad died in. She went back to work within two weeks and it was far too soon. She had to walk past the ward he died on every single day.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Syl on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:53 pm

eddie wrote:My mum worked in the actual hospital me dad died in. She went back to work within two weeks and it was far too soon. She had to walk past the ward he died on every single day.

That's sad Eddie, it must have stabbed at her heart every time she saw the place he died.

I don't think you can put a time scale on grieving...it can last from a short time to a lifetime, and everyone grieves differently.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:14 pm

That's right Syl. My dad's death hit me more after the first year.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Syl on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:28 pm

eddie wrote:That's right Syl. My dad's death hit me more after the first year.

I can understand that. I still get down round the time of year my mum died, and it's just seven years now....grief can suddenly reappear long after a person has died.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:35 pm

Its always difficult, but the quicker people get back into a normal routine, the easier it will be for them to get on with their lives.

20 days seems to me to being doing the opposite of this. Yes you need time to arrange the funeral etc, but to me, its best to look in fond memory of people, remembering how they lived and not concentrate on why they are now gone. Nobody can ever take away what is inside each and every one of us, those cherished memories. Which should be looked upon with happiness and not sadness.

Its good that they are looking after their employees to this extent, but as i said, its better to get yourself back into a routine. As this helps distract people from the recent sadness and loss they are suffering. If people are left to constantly be and feel sad at their loss, it can continually plague them with negativity. Life must go on for all of us.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Syl on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:48 pm

Thorin wrote:Its always difficult, but the quicker people get back into a normal routine, the easier it will be for them to get on with their lives.

20 days seems to me to being doing the opposite of this. Yes you need time to arrange the funeral etc, but to me, its best to look in fond memory of people, remembering how they lived and not concentrate on why they are now gone. Nobody can ever take away what is inside each and every one of us, those cherished memories. Which should be looked upon with happiness and not sadness.

Its good that they are looking after their employees to this extent, but as i said, its better to get yourself back into a routine. As this helps distract people from the recent sadness and loss they are suffering. If people are left to constantly be and feel sad at their loss, it can continually plague them with negativity. Life must go on for all of us.

alien
Very wise words Thor. People are different, but if a person can, they should try to get back into a routine as soon as they feel able.
My mum lost her three year old son, her first born, in very tragic circumstances. It was before I was born, but I remember her saying to others many years later that working was the one thing that helped her cope at the time.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:52 pm

Syl wrote:
Thorin wrote:Its always difficult, but the quicker people get back into a normal routine, the easier it will be for them to get on with their lives.

20 days seems to me to being doing the opposite of this. Yes you need time to arrange the funeral etc, but to me, its best to look in fond memory of people, remembering how they lived and not concentrate on why they are now gone. Nobody can ever take away what is inside each and every one of us, those cherished memories. Which should be looked upon with happiness and not sadness.

Its good that they are looking after their employees to this extent, but as i said, its better to get yourself back into a routine. As this helps distract people from the recent sadness and loss they are suffering. If people are left to constantly be and feel sad at their loss, it can continually plague them with negativity. Life must go on for all of us.

alien
Very wise words Thor. People are different, but if a person can, they should try to get back into a routine as soon as they feel able.
My mum lost her three year old son, her first born, in very tragic circumstances. It was before I was born, but I remember her saying to others many years later that working was the one thing that helped her cope at the time.

Thank you Syl.
Its always horrible to lose someone so young.
My mother had to endure the same, with the loss of my baby sister. She also like, your mother, got back into a routine as soon as possible. It really does help.

x

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Syl on Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:01 pm

Thorin wrote:
Syl wrote:

alien
Very wise words Thor. People are different, but if a person can, they should try to get back into a routine as soon as they feel able.
My mum lost her three year old son, her first born, in very tragic circumstances. It was before I was born, but I remember her saying to others many years later that working was the one thing that helped her cope at the time.

Thank you Syl.
Its always horrible to lose someone so young.
My mother had to endure the same, with the loss of my baby sister. She also like, your mother, got back into a routine as soon as possible. It really does help.

x

Thanks Thor, I hope your mum managed to get over, as well as anyone can, her tragic loss.

Death of a loved one is horrible, but to lose a child must be the worst tragedy of all.

Night . x

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:10 pm

Syl wrote:
Thorin wrote:

Thank you Syl.
Its always horrible to lose someone so young.
My mother had to endure the same, with the loss of my baby sister. She also like, your mother, got back into a routine as soon as possible. It really does help.

x

Thanks Thor, I hope your mum managed to get over, as well as anyone can, her tragic loss.

Death of a loved one is horrible, but to lose a child must be the worst tragedy of all.

Night . x

Its horrible that any parent should have to bury their own child.

What is the saying.

"In peace, sons bury their fathers and in wars, fathers bury their sons."

Take care Syl, am also signing off for the night

x

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by HoratioTarr on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:38 pm

The thing about grief is that it has a way of hitting you weeks or months after the loved one has died.
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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by magica on Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:17 pm

There is no one way to deal with grief as it affects us all in different ways. Some can move on quicker than others.

So sad for your mum's Syl send Thorin, no parent should outlive their child. They moved on from the overwhelming pain, but that ache still remained leaving a scar that would never heal.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:39 pm

HoratioTarr wrote:The thing about grief is that it has a way of hitting you weeks or months after the loved one has died.

Yes exactly. With some people, especially if there are unresolved issues, it can be years.

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Re: Bereavement leave: How long is long enough?

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:05 pm

Thorin wrote:Its always difficult, but the quicker people get back into a normal routine, the easier it will be for them to get on with their lives.

20 days seems to me to being doing the opposite of this. Yes you need time to arrange the funeral etc, but to me, its best to look in fond memory of people, remembering how they lived and not concentrate on why they are now gone. Nobody can ever take away what is inside each and every one of us, those cherished memories. Which should be looked upon with happiness and not sadness.

Its good that they are looking after their employees to this extent, but as i said, its better to get yourself back into a routine. As this helps distract people from the recent sadness and loss they are suffering. If people are left to constantly be and feel sad at their loss, it can continually plague them with negativity. Life must go on for all of us.

Doesn't that depend on how they died? If someone had been ill for a long time, and were expected to die, that's one thing, but what if the death was unexplained? What if there was an accident of some kind? People would want answers, and they're not just going to say - oh well, it doesn't matter what happened, back to work then.

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