Analysing Paid Bereavement Leave Around the World

A new law has been passed in the UK which will allow parents who lose a child to take two weeks of paid leave. The new law, known as Jack’s law, is hoped to give suffering parents the time to make funeral arrangements and grieve. Many parents worry about the ramifications of taking time off, such as falling behind on work or losing job security.

The new law will make the UK the world leader in bereavement leave offerings and by quite a significant number of days. So, how does the rest of the world compare?

Australia

Leave allowed? Two days.

Paid? Yes, unless a casual employee.

The Australian government allows two days compassionate leave in the event of an immediate family member dying or suffering a life-threatening injury or illness. This leave can be taken continuously or as two separate days. Bereavement leave in Australia is paid for full and part time employees but unpaid for casual employees.

France

Leave allowed? 3-5 days.

Paid? Yes.

In France, workers are entitled to three days of fully paid leave for the death of an immediate family member (spouse, parent, sibling etc.) and five days for the death of a child. It is part of the law that the absence can’t be used against the employee in disciplinary actions.

New Zealand

Leave allowed? 3 days.

Paid? Yes.

New Zealand allows three days bereavement leave for parents who have lost a child. This is a minimum number, so many employers may allow more time at their discretion. All types of employees (part-time, full-time, casual) are entitled to this leave as long as they have worked for the employer for six months.

Spain

Leave allowed? 2-4 days.

Paid? Yes, unless it is extended.

The standard in Spain is two days paid bereavement leave. This can go up to four days if the worker needs to travel for the funeral. Bereavement leave can be extended at the discretion of the employer, but it will likely be unpaid.

Canada

Leave allowed? 5 days.

Paid? Yes, for the first 3 days.

Canada grants five days of bereavement leave in the event of a loss of a child, but only the first three days are paid at their regular wages, and only if they have been in employment there for over three months. The five days can be taken anywhere between the day of the death and up to six weeks after the funeral.

China

Leave allowed? 1-3 days.

Paid? Yes.

National law in the People’s Republic of China states that employers must give their workers between one and three days of bereavement leave with full pay. This law applies to the death of a parent, spouse or child.

Brazil

Leave allowed? 2 days.

Paid? Yes.

In Brazil, workers are entitled to two days fully paid bereavement leave in the event of a death of a spouse, sibling, parent or child.

Data collated by Beecham Peacock Solicitors.

Author: Editorial Team

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