Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

Compassionate leave

No. of entries: 8 | Posted on 27 Jun 2012 4:21 PM

Compassionate leave

  • i am trying to find out how long people take as compassionate leave when a parent dies.I know everyone is different and i am thinking ahead while i write this but i work for a small company and usuallly i work to forget my problems at home but know the grief i feel when Mum dies will be different.The official data seems to be 3 days so i just wondered what other people have taken off, thanks for any reples Paula xx

  • Hi Paula It's horrible to have to worry about things like this when there are so many other more important things going on so im sorry to hear you are having to think about these things. My mum passed away unexpectedly on 29th jan. I took the week off before she passed to be with her and I didn't go back to work until the 5th march! I tried to go back earlier as I thought work would distract me and would help take my mind off things but I just wasn't ready and burst into tears within 5 minutes of getting there! Being 6 months pregnaant didnt help matters. The doctors signed me off for another 2 weeks. I guess we are all different though and cope in different ways. . Lucikily my work were very understanding and I got paid for the whole time I was off. is there a hr person you could speak to in your company to discuss yr situation with? Thinking of you Claire X
  • Hi cinders thanks for the reply.So sorry to hear about your Mum, i am just looking into it before im an emotional wreck.There is no hr it is a small business infact i have not been off sick in six yrs as the boss makes such a big deal and as a part  timer i doubt i would get paid so ive saved some money in advance.i guess a big company has policies in place.I had heard of people getting notes from doctors so perhaps that is the way to go.My boss carried on as normal when his Mum died but he had to as he runs the bussiness i just dont want to argue the toss when the time comes take care Paula xx

  • Hi Paula

    I work in HR and there is no legal entitlement to compassionate leave, it is at the discretion of your employer.  If being paid is an issue and you would get sick pay (you should at least get statutory sick pay, it's not much but it is something), then getting signed off by your doctor might be the way forward.  I've only ever worked for big companies so they have been able to afford to be generous with paid time off, your employer might not be able to.

    Good luck with everything.


  • Hi

    In my experience the usual paid compassionate leave given by most companies is 3 days.

    It is nowhere near enough and it is common practice to either tag holidays onto it, or get a doctor's note for stress for at least until after the funeral.

    Everyone will be different but I had a nightmare time after my brother died suddenly 5 years ago (shock, grief, worrying about mum) when I only took 2 weeks off work. I'd gone back way too soon and it made me ill as I was exhausted through stress and lack of sleep.

    When mum was diagnosed with cancer I gave up work to become her full time carer as she wanted to die at her home. She died 4 weeks ago. I think I would've been alright going back to work after the funeral this time - there isn't the same shock as my brother. I think if you are sleeping ok, then you stand a good chance of being able to work.

    As someone said on a recent post, when they are terminally ill you do part of your grieving whilst you are caring, and I think that was true for me. Plus there is the relief that they aren't in pain now. I'm sad and I cry sometimes but I am sleeping and coping.

    Hope this helps ... I know its difficult to take time off when you work for a small company.

  • Thank you for all your replies, we dont exactly know Mums prognosis yet but i know what you mean about  greiving whilst they are still here.When Mum was first diagnosed i felt like a weight on my shoulders and every card etc had Happy mothers day on it she wasnt expected to pull through.Now the cancer is back..stage 4 i am trying to e prepared eventhough im not her carer.i will check with my boss next week while things are calm.Having never lost a close relative..i coped well with grandparents but that is different,i have no idea how long the intense grief is i still think 3 days is not enough though thank you all Paula xx

  • Definately get a sick note from gp this covers you and you cannot be sacked there are discrimination laws which protect you from this. even if you only get statutory sick pay its better then nothing. i have been off sick for 7 months caring for my husband. Its not ideal but at least i will have a job to go back to eventually.


    Jo xxx

  • Well i thought id ask about compassionate leave as i dont want to deal with confusion if..when the time arises.My boss has assured me i can have as much time as i need unpaid of course but im glad i asked as he can e very funny when people phone in sick.thank you all for your replies im sure i would get a docs note and see if i get sick pay take care paula xx