24% provide staff with access to bereavement helplines

Tom Gaynor

Less than a quarter (24%) of employer respondents provide staff with access to bereavement helplines through their employee benefits provider, according to research by MetLife Employee Benefits.

Its survey of 110 UK-based HR professionals also found that 92% of respondents offer flexible working to support employees with a bereavement.

The research also found:

  • 13% of respondents offer face-to-face counselling to support bereaved employees.
  • 45% of respondents do not have an agreed policy in place to cope with the aftermath of the death of an employee.
  • 31% of respondents have provided bereavement support to a member of staff over the past two years after they had a death in the family.
  • 64% of respondents do not have an agreed procedure in place to support staff who are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Tom Gaynor (pictured), employee benefits director at MetLife UK, said: “Bereavement is sadly something which will affect most employees and [organisations] need to have agreed procedures in place to ensure staff and their families have support when they need it.

“[Organisations] clearly want to be supportive and sympathetic but it is surprising that so many do not have clear policies and procedures in place for bereavement in the workplace. HR departments recognise it is an issue but need support in addressing it.”