Did you know that you can support your employees at their time of need by partnering with eziFunerals to deliver a Funeral Planning Assistance program, as an employee benefit?
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 well being. In the midst of grief, those who remain must comfort one another and make time to attend to the funeral arrangements.
Grieving employees often become classic examples of presenteeism—they turn up for work but are unable to perform. 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.
Develop an effective funeral and 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.
However, we do not believe standard bereavement leave is enough to support employees coping with loss and having to deal with the emotional stress of planning a funeral. Employers of choice are encouraged to develop an effective funeral and bereavement policy which should include the following supports for your employees.
Offer Funeral Planning Assistance: Coping with a loss and planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things we will ever be asked to do. Partner with eziFunerals to deliver a Funeral Planning Assistance, program, as an employee benefit.
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 funeral and bereavement leave. Allow coworkers to give vacation days to bereaved colleagues.
Offer an emergency loan program: Offer no cost loans to employees for funeral 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 organisation, such as a hospice.
Ensure Equitable and flexible treatment: Ensure your funeral and 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 organisation’s funeral and 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 distress and regenergise during the work day.
Help co-workers offer support: Allow coworkers time off to attend the funeral or memorial service, if appropriate. Offer grief support training to supervisors and staff, if appropriate.
How can eziFunerals can help your employees
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.
eziFunerals will help your employees and their immediate families plan a personalised funeral from the comfort of their own home. Without funeral director involvement.
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. Your employees can be rest assured that they and their immediate family will be empowered to make informed decisions about all their funeral-related matters.
If you are a corporate benefits manager or life insurance company and would like to learn more about eziFunerals an employee benefit, please contact eziFunerals for independent information and support.
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company.