Managing an employee who has suffered a bereavement requires compassion, sensitivity, and flexibility. The employee is most likely to let you know what is happening and accept support from you if you already have a good relationship with them and have built an environment that is open, respectful, kind, fair and consistent, in which people feel ‘psychologically safe’. (Psychological safety is where people feel they can speak up and share concerns, questions or ideas freely without being criticised or made to feel ‘wrong’ for doing so.)  

This guide provides advice on how to support employees who are dealing with a bereavement, both in the short and longer term. How you respond as a manager will make a huge difference to the experience of your bereaved colleague and how supported they feel when they are able to return to work.

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