How do you handle your employees’ grief?
Section 4 of the Employment Act 2007 states that, in event of a death of an employee, you are required, as an employer, to pay salary and other remuneration of the deceased employee to a legal representative as at the date of death within thirty days of submitting the proof of death.
However, the ACT is not clear on how to handle the death, accident or sickness of a relative or friend to an employee.
And here is where the compassionate leave comes in…
Simply put, the compassionate leave in Kenya is taken when an employee is bereaved or has to take care of a sick relative or friend.
This leave allows an employee to attend to his/her misfortunes which are usually not planned for and may occur at any point in time including death, sickness or accidents of relatives and friends.
So it’s generally up to the company’s policy to decide on which direction to approach the compassionate leave from.
The Teachers Service Commission for Instance allows a teacher to take a maximum of 15 days compassionate leave in one calendar year. This will vary from one employer to another because as we said, it’s not clearly listed among the major types of leaves in the employment ACT.
This said, life itself is unpredictable, so no one can predict when misfortune knocks. Hence it’s important to ACT compassionately when your employees are in such circumstances.
So what can you do as an employer in such an occurrence?
- Show Concern
Acknowledge your team member’s loss. Such a simple gesture goes along way. Your employees are first and foremost people with personal lives before they become part of your staff.
- Keep the lines of Communication open and let them know that your team is open for their support.
- Remember, Failure to ACT compassionately when your employees need you the most will be remembered for a long time.
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