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Payment for time off ...


thumperrabbit
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Well put it this way.... I was not paid for the day my dad died, his funeral or my mums funeral 5mths later.

 

That was the turning point for me - I will now do NOTHING in my own time unless I am paid in full (and I mean nothing!)

 

I know who is missing out financially long term.

 

I know you have to draw the line somewhere in terms of paid leave and the direct relationship to you- but your parents????

 

As you can tell you've hit a (very) raw nerve. In an ideal world I would have it written into contacts like wildflowers says.

 

xx

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Just had a looked at the contracts we use and its not included. We did have a person, several years ago, whose parent was terminally ill and then died. The committee actually decided to pay her for the time she cared for her parent and the time it took her to be able to return to work. I think she had 3 months plus in the end before returning part-time. It wasn't her full wage but it was one less thing to worry about.

 

I do think we need to include the basics in our contract though.

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I have paid staff when this happened, but of the 2 occasions, one was a parent and the staff member only took 2 days, one for the day the parent died and one for the funeral, she didn't want any more time as found it easier to work and keep busy, the other time was a when a staff member's grandparent died and she only took a couple of days as well. We had enough staff in anyway so i felt ok paying them, but think i wouldn't be able to do it if they were taking any longer off and it would come under normal sick pay rules. cruel as it may seem, but if you need to get cover in then it would cost the business too much and as we all know, we are not raking it in and have to put the business as a whole first.

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I would absolutely pay them. Bereavement is hard enough without having the added burden of thinking your employer doesn't care( and I speak from experience). I understand completely about committee run groups, but your staff member contributes to a successful group and it's a small thing to do for them, in my opinion. It wouldn't enter my head NOT to pay them.Come on, it's not as if yu're going to havea run of this sort of thing happening, is it??

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This is taken from a downloadable document on the ACAS website.

 

What the law says

Section 57(A)of the Employment Rights Act 1996 gives a “day one” right for an employee to have ‘reasonable’ time off work to deal with an emergency, such as a bereavement involving a dependant. This could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on the employee for care. ‘Reasonable’ is not defined and will depend on the situation. An employer does not have to pay an employee for this time away from work but many employers offer paid special or compassionate leave. The Equality Act 2010 protects employees with protected characteristics from unlawful discrimination. When dealing with requests for leave employers must ensure that they do not treat some employees less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic.

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I'm sorry but if it's for immediate family members then I would if possible always pay.

Supporting staff in times like these is incredibly important and can go some way in showing you care.

Penalising someone at such an emotional time is not right in my book.

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Our policy is that we pay for up to three weeks of for the loss of immediate family plus a paid day for funeral (if it hasn't taken place during the three weeks) and a week unpaid plus one day for funeral paid, for wider family/friends/neighbours etc. Immediate is defined as parents, grandparents, siblings, partners and children (I realise this is a bit subjective and some people are as close to friends and wider family members ,but there has to be a line as we have over 70 staff and many of them have very large extended families.) They can of course, stay off longer but won't be paid - if they are really struggling, I usually advise them to go and get signed off sick then at least they can get SSP.

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A few years ago I had over two weeks away from work when my sister was in intensive care and then sadly died. I had to go to Kent for all of this time so was physically unable to work. I was never even offered any pay, and of course at the time it never even crossed my mind. Reading this makes me think that we should have something in place.

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When my mum was rushed into hospital on a Wednesday evening and remained unconscious I took the Thursday and Friday off work.... Thursday mainly because I was up all night at the hospital.

My mum died on the Sunday.

On Monday I had a call from work to say I had used up all the leave granted when someone dies(3 days)

I was in such a state.

I saw my doctor who wrote a sick note and I was signed off work.

I took the note to work and my boss then informed me that I was in fact able to take one more week off without a sick note as he could Use his discretion to grant the extra days if it was a close family member.

The call though that I got initially was so insensitive.

Fifteen years on it still makes me cross

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compassionate leave. You will look at each case on it's own merits and the committee will decide on an appropriate payment

Because My Mum lived abroad I had 2 weeks off my trustees were lovely and paid for all of it. Other members of staff will usually get paid for funerals and if it's a really close family member I would always pay them....you just don't need hassle at those terrible times :(

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Some really sad stories here....big hugs to louby, scarlettangel, fm and zigzag......

 

As Owner/Manager I haven't put anything in contracts but would always pay my staff at such times - a little kindness goes a long way.......

 

When I lost my mum it was at the beginning of a half-term break - I emailed my staff members a couple of days later to tell them what had happened and ended the message with something like 'it will be business as usual on Monday, see you then' - their response to a man (well woman actually) was 'no need to rush back, we can manage, take as long as you need' - how lovely of them :1b - I didn't need any extra time it was good to be back with them and the children......although I remeber I did avoid parents for a short time......

Edited by sunnyday
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The problem with not having these things written into contracts is that you may, if challenged, have to prove fairness. What if when one member of staff had two days off for the loss of a close family member and you were able to support them and pay them, but when this happened at another time for someone else you didn't? You must be very careful with the 'at my discretion' phrase - it can easily be used against you.

 

So what I'm saying is, regardless of what you do decide that is above or beyond the legal requirements, it must be seen to be fair to all and applied consistently.

Edited by JJA
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