Helping Employees To Cope With Loss At Work

eziFunerals understands the heavy burden on employees with the loss of a loved one and end of life decisions. That is why we have developed Australia’s first nationwide funeral planning service and Cradle2grave® coverage for valued employees.

Our Employee Funeral Assistance Program supports all employees, and their immediate family members, cope with death and the funeral process. eziFunerals customised funeral benefit packages empower employees with the resources and planning tools they need to make informed decisions on difficult and costly issues facing their families at the end of life.

Like other employee assistance programs, eziFunerals Funeral Assistance Program is a value added benefit to industrial awards and bereavement policies, Australia wide.

 

Understanding the grieving process

Grief is a normal part of life that touches all of us at some point.

When an employee or their family member passes away it is never an easy transition for the remaining loved ones, colleagues or co-workers. It can have a significant and negative impact on their work and wellbeing. In the midst of grief, those who remain must comfort one another and make time to attend to final arrangements.

As a result of their emotional stress, employees affected by a loss and planning a funeral may:

  • Make poor decisions
  • Supervise ineffectively
  • Compromise workplace safety

 

What do employees need to do?

  • Get your employer to register as a client
  • Enter your email address and your employers name
  • Create an online username and password
  • Access EziFunerals Planning Services and tools on-line

 

How can my employer work with eziFunerals?

If you are a corporate benefits manager or life insurance company and would like to learn more about EziFunerals an employee or policy benefit, please complete the fields below to register your interest.

 

How do I know if my employer offers eziFunerals as a benefit?

eziFunerals is offered as a value-added benefit through a network of employers and insurance companies. Ask your HR Department or company Benefits Administrator if you are eligible for eziFunerals Planning and Advisory Services.

 

Developing an effective bereavement policy

The standard bereavement leave in many workplaces is one to three days. Bereavement leave allows employees time to express their immediate grief, but it may not give employees enough time to deal with the difficult and emotional process of planning a funeral.  An effective bereavement policy includes the following supports:

 

Offer Funeral Planning Assistance:

You can support employees by acknowledging their grief and offering our Funeral Assistance Programs as part of your bereavement policy.

 

Provide Paid leave:

Figure out how much paid leave you can offer. A full week is a realistic choice. Decide whether the leave can be modified in specific situations, such as an employee needing to travel to a funeral. Take into account the relationship of the deceased to the bereaved employee. Recognize that the death of a loved one outside the immediate family may be equally upsetting, e.g. the loss of a grandparent. Respect cultural differences. Depending on the culture, the traditions around mourning (the public expression of grief) may take more time.

 

Offer Extended Unpaid leave:

Provide job guarantees for employees who take an extended leave.

 

Allow Vacation leave:

Make it easy for grieving employees to add vacation leave to their bereavement leave. Allow coworkers to give vacation days to bereaved colleagues.

 

Offer an emergency loan program:

Offer no cost loans to employees for death related expenses, such as travel or funerals.

 

Provide an Official recognition of loss:

Acknowledge the loss with an official gesture, such as a memorial event at work, a floral arrangement for the funeral or a charitable donation.

 

Offer Grief counselling:

Offer grief counselling through an employee assistance program or a community organization, such as a hospice.

 

Ensure Equitable and flexible treatment:

Ensure your bereavement policy allows for each employee’s needs and treats all employees fairly.

 

Lead by example and acknowledge grief:

As an employer or supervisor, you set the tone. Your response will make a lasting impression not only on bereaved employees but also on their co-workers. The compassion and respect you offer will be returned in the form of employee loyalty and retention.

 

Support grieving employees while they are on leave:

Offer your sympathy and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Explain your organization’s bereavement policy, if there is one.

 

Stay in touch:

Assure employees that everything is all right at work and that their work is being looked after. Keep them in the loop if it seems appropriate but don’t overwhelm them with details. Help employees access grief counselling through an employee assistance program or community agency. Ask what the employee would like you to say to co-workers about the loss.

 

Engage with other staff, if appropriate:

Include a grief counsellor who can answer questions and provide support. Address any concerns staff may have, such as how to cover a bereaved co-worker’s duties.

 

Continue your support after employees return to work:

  • Be patient. Grief has no timeline and people grieve in their own way.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, such as reduced hours, fewer duties, job sharing, telecommuting or time off when necessary.
  • Ease up on deadlines where possible or bring in extra help.
  • Ensure supervisors understand that bereaved employees may have trouble coping and may need to leave the workplace on short notice.
  • Have supervisors stay in close contact with them, at least for the first few days after their return to work.
  • Meet regularly with bereaved employees (and their supervisor, if applicable) to be sure they are getting the support they need.
  • Watch for signs that their grief has become self-destructive, such as physical changes, signs of substance abuse, isolation or feelings they can’t manage. Step in to offer counselling or other support as appropriate.
  • Provide a quiet place where all staff can go to destress and reenergize during the work day.

 

Help co-workers offer support:

Allow co-workers time off to attend the funeral or memorial service, if appropriate.

Offer grief support training to supervisors and staff, if appropriate.

 

 

Find an Independent Funeral Director Near You

If local ownership and community involvement are important to you, you should ask who owns and operates the funeral home you are considering.

By choosing to use the services of an independent funeral director, listed with eziFunerals, you are selecting the help of a trusted  – who can help you anywhere, anytime. They are not distracted or bound by corporate rules handed down from head office and shareholders but can be flexible and responsive to individual needs, providing a highly personal and compassionate service.

So make the right choice and get value for money by selecting an Australian, independent and family owned funeral director to conduct a funeral.

For more information on the best funeral directors in each of the states, see our city specific pages: