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death of employee policy
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Death of employee policy

Death of employee policy

Our death of employee policy sets out the appropriate steps you and your staff, particularly line managers, should take following an employee’s death. You will need to handle the situation carefully and sensitively, both in terms of liaison with the deceased’s next of kin and dealing with their work colleagues and clients.

A sensitive situation

Fortunately, it’s a rare occurrence, but at some stage you may find yourself faced with the death of an employee. This could be sudden and unexpected or following a long illness. Our Death of Employee Policy is designed to assist you when faced with this difficult situation by outlining the practical steps that you and your staff, particularly your line managers, should be taking. There is very little in the way of legislation regarding how you should deal with an employee’s death, but you should always be guided by the circumstances of the case and the wishes of the deceased’s family or next of kin. Appropriate steps you should take include:

  • contacting the deceased’s family or next of kin to offer your condolences and to find out how they wish to proceed in terms of notifying other staff and third parties about the employee’s death and funeral arrangements
  • informing your other staff about the employee’s death, starting with their immediate colleagues and then moving on to the wider workforce
  • informing external contacts, such as clients and suppliers, about the employee’s death
  • considering who will be allowed time off work to attend the funeral
  • arranging for the deceased’s job duties to be covered in the short term, and then permanently reallocated or a replacement appointed in the long term
  • working out the deceased’s final salary payments and to whom they should be paid
  • dealing with any other payments, such as payments under a pension or life assurance scheme
  • sorting out any other practical issues, such as returning the deceased’s personal belongings and removing the deceased from your telephone and e-mail accounts.

Our policy includes a section on each of the above matters to guide you and your staff through what they should be doing both in terms of administration and liaison with others.

Accidents at work

Our policy doesn’t cover the specific considerations that apply where an employee dies at work as the result of a work-related accident or industrial disease. In that situation, a number of additional health and safety considerations and reporting duties will come into play.

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