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Arrangements for compassionate leave are set out under the Assistant Staff Handbook and Summary of Leave table.

Compassionate leave is normally granted to an employee who:

  • Needs to care for a dependant or close relative who is seriously ill, or
  • Requires compassionate leave due to the death of a dependent or close relative (including time to deal with practical matters which may arise as a result).

A ‘close relative’ is defined as a spouse or partner, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, or brother or sister-in-law. A ‘dependant’ is defined in the Special Leave Policy.

The length of compassionate leave is stated in the existing provisions under the Summary of Leave table and Assistant Staff Handbook. To summarise, a Head of Institution may allow an employee to take paid compassionate leave up to a maximum of 5 working days. In exceptional circumstances where longer periods of leave are required, a longer period or combination of compassionate, annual and/or unpaid leave may be agreed to meet the particular circumstances of the case and subject to the operational needs of the work area.

As individual circumstances may vary, it is recommended that each application for compassionate leave is assessed individually by the Head of Institution taking the following into consideration, as appropriate:

  • The relationship and caring responsibilities between the individual and the employee.
  • The nature and extent of any illness or treatment required.
  • Whether the employee is involved in making funeral arrangements.
  • Whether there may be a requirement to travel or attend a funeral or ceremony.
  • The operational needs and demands of the institution at that time and the capacity to make alternative arrangements to cover duties.

For further advice or to discuss exceptional circumstances, please contact the relevant HR Business Partnering Team.