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Millions of workers are missing out on compassionate leave for these reasons

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According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll, UK employees typically take as little as 2.8 days off when grieving the loss of someone close to them. This is likely because of vague legal guidelines and general confusion that are resulting in workers across the UK missing out on the time off they need.

Currently, UK workers have no legal entitlement to access paid leave if their spouse, parent or closest friend dies.

Moreover, the law simply states that any given time off should be deemed as being “reasonable” – resulting in a lot of stress and confusion for those wanting compassionate leave.

A study conducted by OnePoll this month obtained statistics from 2,000 UK employees, with their findings clearly demonstrating that there is scope for change around how employers approach compassionate leave.

An overwhelming 79 percent of respondents agreed that the guidelines surrounding compassionate leave should be more definitive.

The vague nature of them leaves millions of workers facing problems when it comes to taking time off to emotionally deal with death.

The research found that 61 percent of those who had taken compassionate or bereavement leave said that they had found requesting the time off to be a difficult experience.

The reasons for this ranged from people not knowing their company policy to worrying that colleagues would judge them for taking too much time off.

Dan Garrett, CEO of Farewill, said: “We’d love to see the government do much more to help workers and employers deal with compassionate leave in a way that’s fair for everyone.

“The current lack of guidance means that the amount of time and support someone is given to deal with a death is a lottery based on where they work. It’s time for fundamental change.”

It was also concluded that 98 percent of those aged 18-24 said that they found asking for time off stressful, with worries around career progression and office “presenteeism” highest in this age group.

Shockingly, the time employees are able to take varies based on their industry sector – with working in social care taking on average 2.8 days off of work, which is just one third of the time taken by those working in marketing and PR.

Mr Garret added: “Every day we’re talking to people experiencing a bereavement, and we understand how death can impact someone’s life and their ability to work. We’ve updated our own policy to ensure team members have the time they need to grieve.

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“Our company mission is to change the way the world deals with death, that’s why we’ve decided to make our policy and guidelines available to all; our hope is this will lead to positive change in other businesses.”

When respondents were asked what they thought was a fair amount of time to take off, 6.5 days was the average response – a 35 percent increase over the 4.8 days people typically take.

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