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Little bereavement support for workers
[Posted: Thu 29/04/2010 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Most Irish workplaces do not have bereavement policies or guidelines in place, leaving grieving employees with little or no support, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has warned.
According to the foundation, death is one of the ‘last great taboos' in workplaces and the issue continues to be largely ignored.
Currently in Ireland and the EU, there is no official entitlement to bereavement leave for workers - it is entirely at the discretion of the employer. A survey by the IHF of 34 Irish companies and organisations found that 88% did not have any bereavement policies or guidelines in place.
According to Breffni McGuinness of the foundation, he never ceases to be amazed at people who have experienced great tragedy and suffering, but who are willing to help others who might be experiencing similar suffering. This is particualrly the case in the area of bereavement support.
"Workplaces that are supportive of bereaved employees tend to have increased morale and commitment from workers and a reduction in unnecessary sick leave. It really makes a lot of sense to support bereaved workers appropriately," Mr McGuinness said.
He insisted that it was no longer appropriate to take an ad hoc approach to employee bereavement. Such an approach is unfair to workers and does not benefit the organisation, he said.
"There is no reason why every workplace should not have a clear bereavement policy and/or guidelines for employees," he added.
Mr McGuinness made his comments at a meeting in Dublin organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to mark Workers' Commemoration Day.
|cupofsugar Posted: 29/04/2010 23:15|
My aunt died last year. my mum is elderly and disabled and we spent 5 days in the Mater hospital waiting for her to pass away as we were told by doctors they could do no more for her. I then arranged her funeral and despite being the only member of staff in my office with 2 bosses I was made to feel it was an inconvenience that I was unable to attend work on the morning she died and to attend her funeral. Yet they went to every removal or funeral of any client at the drop of a hat.
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