Bereavement and Compassionate Leave

Grief is a natural response people have when they experience a death (a bereavement). Symptoms can include stress, low mood and anxiety. This is normal and will lessen with time.

If you have suffered a bereavement and you feel as though you cannot work, you should ask your employer for compassionate leave. Compassionate leave is not the same as sick leave and should not be treated as such. Similarly you should not be asked to get a ‘sicknote’ from your GP. These requests are not appropriate as bereavement is a normal process and not an illness. These requests take appointments away from people who are ill and in need of seeing a GP in a time of unprecedented pressures on the NHS. Please see the ACAS guidance below for further information.

Leave and pay when someone dies – Time off work for bereavement – Acas

If you feel you need to speak to someone for bereavement support ask your employer or have a look at bereavement counselling organisations here.

If your employer insists on treating bereavement as an illness and requests a sicknote please ask them to write to the practice outlining this.