Compassionate Leave

Compassionate leave may be granted to employees as follows;

  • Up to a maximum of three working days may be granted on the death of an immediate relative, or in exceptional circumstances on the death of a more distant relative (e.g. where the employee has to take charge of funeral arrangements or has lived in the same house as the deceased).
  • An immediate relative means a father, mother, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, child or spouse.
  • On the death of a spouse or child, the maximum number of days may be increased to five.
  • Extra days may also be allowed where an immediate relative dies abroad and the employee has to go abroad to take charge of the funeral arrangements.

Approved periods of compassionate leave may be supplemented and/or extended by additional unpaid leave or facilitation with a period of annual leave. Where an employee has exhausted his/her annual leave allowance and is confronted with a serious or sudden illness of an immediate relative (or, in exceptional circumstances, a distant relative), special leave with pay up to a maximum of 3 days may be granted. In the case of a spouse or child the maximum number of days may be increased to five.

Managers should be particularly sensitive to the needs of employees in circumstances of bereavement. Support may be offered, if required, through the Occupational Health Service and leave supplemented by alternative means if required.

HSE HR Circular 016/12 re Compassionate Leave in the Health Service