New bereavement leave measures in place
by Niall Shanahan
Health workers are now allowed 20 days bereavement leave on the death of a spouse or child following new measures introduced on 1st October. It follows Fórsa’s win of an important case in the Labour Court. The previous allowance was just five days.
The Court recommended that the changes should also apply in ‘section 38’ organisations, which are independent but directly funded by the State to deliver health services. The improvement came into force last week (1st October).
The HSE had resisted the change, which was earlier introduced in the civil service, on the grounds of cost. But Fórsa official Brian Gorman told the Court that the employer’s figures were wrong, and the potential costs were much lower than it had estimated.
“We are talking about people dealing with the loss of a partner, son or daughter. We made the case that everyone in these tragic circumstances experiences tremendous grief, regardless of the sector they work in,” he said.
A copy of the HSE’s circular on the new measures is available here.