One of the worst things you can go through in life is the loss of a loved one. Whether it’s your parent, grandparent, child, or just a close friend, you may find that you aren’t ready to go back to work again and that you need more time to grieve. A bereavement leave letter gives you that time. Before submitting a bereavement leave letter, talk with your direct supervisor about why you need time off and explain that you will make a formal request later.
Bereavement Leave Letter Basics
Not all employers offer bereavement leave for employees, but you can typically take a combination of paid time off and unpaid time off. The amount of time you receive depends on the guidelines of your company. Some employers may give you a few days off, or up to a month off.
Make sure that you explain in your bereavement leave letter exactly how much time you need. You will also want to address your bereavement letter to your direct supervisor or the person in charge of your department.
Common questions include how many bereavement days do you get for a grandparent who’s passed, or more generally speaking, how much time do you get off work for a death in the family. This will depend on the guidelines for bereavement leave that your company has in place, as well as how much time you feel you need to grieve. Discuss with your direct supervisor.
You might be wondering who is considered an immediate family member for a bereavement leave. Immediate family generally includes your parents, siblings, and grandparents; your children and grandchildren; your spouse’s parents and siblings; and any step-children you might have.
Explain Yourself Fully in Your Bereavement Leave Letter
Your bereavement leave letter may be the only chance you have to discuss the time off you want to take before you actually leave. It must be clear, to the point, and address everything your employer needs to know. Our bereavement leave letter sample gives you a good starting place when writing a similar letter. Make sure that your bereavement leave letter includes:
- the person who passed away
- when the individual passed away
- any details relating to the funeral and/or memorial services
- the last day you will work and the date of your return
- the name of the person you informed about your bereavement leave
- a way for employers to contact you with any additional questions
Bereavement Leave Letter Advice
You likely have a number of things on your mind after a loved one passes, but it’s important that you inform your employer that you need time off. Even if you only need a few days, most employers require that you submit a bereavement leave letter that they can put in your employment file. This letter tells them why you need time off, when you will come back to work, and other details they need to know, including contact information. Let your employers contact you over the phone or through email until you return.
What Do I Write in a Sympathy Card for a Coworker?
If you need to write sympathy card for a coworker, include a short but heartfelt statement. Here are some examples to start off the letter with:
- “I’m so sorry for your loss . . .”
- “Thinking of you in this difficult time, and wishing you the best . . .”
- “Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family . . .”
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