What is bereavement?

What does bereavement mean is a category of the leave many companies have so that the employees can deal with the grief associated with losing a loved one. Bereavement leave applies to an employee losing a family member, including the spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other relationship.

The employee taking the bereavement leave(usually 3 days around) will spend the time on focusing his or her well-being but not the work-related responsibility, allows the employee to grieve in private, plan and attend the funeral and to complete a series of small tasks coming up with taking care of an estate.

Is the bereavement leave legally required?

Even though providing bereavement leave is not mandatory in Hong Kong, most of the employers will add the condition of this into an employment contract allowing time off (usually paid) following the death of the close relatives as an extra benefit.

What should be included in a bereavement policy?

An effective bereavement policy will make it clear to your employees what to expect after a death and the organisation will make sure the relevant policy answers below questions.

  • How many days do you allow?
  • How many hours an employee is required to work to qualify for the leave?
  • How to request for the bereavement leave?
  • How will bereavement policy vary by position?
  • Is any documentation required?

Some employers, especially small business owners, want to provide the bereavement leave but worry about the financial implication.

Many employers consider offering their employees three days of paid bereavement leave and two unpaid days to minimise the financial burden . Doing this will show the team you are supporting them during the difficult time and most employees will understand their bosses have the financial responsibility and will appreciate being offered time offs.


Workstem has a number of selectable set up leave policies options that you can cater to your unique leave policy.

Through our Workstem One App, employees can check their leave balance and apply for it themselves without back and forth with managers, while managers can also check and approve applications easily on the go!