Civil service bereavement leave increased

by Bernard Harbor

Civil servants whose spouse or partner has passed away are to see their bereavement leave increased from five to 20 days following agreement between IMPACT and civil service management. Bereavement leave on the loss of other close family members – such as parents or siblings – has also been increased from three to five days.

A formal circular setting out the full details of the agreement is due to be circulated in the week beginning 30th January. Meanwhile, IMPACT intends to seek the same arrangements in public service employments in health, education and local authorities.

The full details of the changes agreed between unions and management in the civil service general council, are:

  1. The maximum level of leave available on the death of a close family member (spouse, common law partner, civil partner, child or adopted child) will be 20 days.
  2. The maximum level of leave available on the death of a close family member (father, mother, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandfather, grandmother or grandchild of an officer) will be 5 days.
  3. The maximum level of leave available on the death of an uncle, aunt, niece or nephew will be one day.
  4. In exceptional circumstances, where the civil servant lived with the deceased at the time of their death, or has to take charge of funeral arrangements, this limit may be extended to five working days.
  5. The maximum level of leave available in the event of a stillbirth or prenatal death of a child after twenty four weeks pregnancy will be ten days and may be granted to (i) the father of the child, (ii) the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as the case may be, of the mother of the child, or (iii) a parent of the child under Section 5 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 where the child is a donor-conceived child within the meaning of Part 2 of that Act.
  6. In a case where a civil servant has to travel abroad to make funeral arrangements in respect of an immediate relative, special leave with pay in excess of the limits for bereavement leave may be granted at the discretion of the Local HR Unit, having consulted with the relevant manager.