Evolving Compassionate Leave Policies

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Evolving Compassionate Leave Policies

Evolving Compassionate Leave Policies

Compassionate leave, a form of paid time off for employees dealing with serious illnesses or family deaths, has undergone significant updates in recent years. These changes reflect shifting societal norms and a growing recognition of mental health’s importance. Typically ranging from 3 to 5 days, compassionate leave now encompasses a broader definition of “immediate family” and acknowledges mental health as a valid reason for leave.

Companies have expanded the “immediate family” scope, including extended relatives like grandparents, siblings, and in-laws. This shift ensures that employees can take time off to grieve and cope with the loss of a loved one more comprehensively.

An equally important update is including mental health as a legitimate reason for compassionate leave. Formerly considered less severe than physical illnesses, mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD now receive the recognition they deserve. Research has shown that mental health struggles can significantly impair an employee’s work performance and overall well-being.

These policy updates signify strides towards establishing a more supportive and inclusive workplace environment. By recognising the significance of mental health and broadening the definition of immediate family, companies are facilitating employees’ ability to navigate life’s challenges.

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Where to start when reviewing your HR policies and documentation?

Let Eternal Engagements’ HR and employment law experts ensure you have the best policies and practices for you and your business.

Here are a few recommendations for HR teams when revising compassionate leave policies:

  • Transparency is Key: Communicate the policy to employees. They should understand their entitlements and the procedure for requesting compassionate leave.
  • Flexibility Matters: Life events are unpredictable. HR should show flexibility and understanding when employees seek compassionate leave.
  • Provide Support: Employees coping with grief or mental health issues may require extra support. Offer resources like counselling services and employee assistance programs to help them during difficult times.
  • Promote Policy Awareness: Ensure employees know the compassionate leave policy and how to utilise Include information in handbooks, intranet resources, and onboarding materials.

By following these suggestions, HR teams can construct equitable, supportive, and inclusive, compassionate leave policies. These policies uphold employees’ wellbeing and foster a workplace culture that values empathy and mental health.

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