Employment Law

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Bereavement Leave

Following six months' continuous service (or an average of at least 10 hours a week and at least one hour a week or 40 hours a month), all staff, regardless of status (Permanent, fixed term, casual) become entitled to:
  • 3 days paid leave for the bereavement of a:
    • child
    • grandchild
    • grandparent
    • parent
    • sibling
    • partner
    • partner's parent
  • 1 day paid leave for an extended family member or if the employer accepts the employee is bereft.
Since April 2021 the Labour Government extended the scope the 3 day entitlement to cover a miscarriage or stillbirth also.

So in the case of miscarriage or stillbirth, 3 days paid leave also now extends to:
  • the mother (would be)
  • the mother's partner
  • the mother's former partner and would have been a biological parent
  • someone who had agreed to be the primary carer (eg through a formal adoption or whangai arrangement)
  • the partner of a person who had agreed to be the primary carer.

Employees have an obligation to tell the Employer as soon as possible if they want to take bereavement leave. In the 3 day entitlement, those 3 days do not need to be taken consecutively.

If a Public Holiday falls during a period of bereavement and it would have been an otherwise working day, the employee is paid for an unworked Public Holiday and bereavement leave is not deducted.

Also, if a bereavement occurs to an employee whilst on annual leave, bereavement leave should be granted and used rather than annual leave for those days.

For more information on Bereavement Leave see our publication "Annual Holidays and Leave". This is an eBook you can purchase and download immediately. The publication includes:
  • Employee's entitlements
  • the entitlement criteria
  • describes who a Close Relative is under the Act
  • the 'three day rule'
  • employer’s rights & guidelines for employers
  • paid leave or unpaid leave
  • relevant daily pay (the calculation for bereavement Leave pay)
  • cultural responsibilities
Bereavement Leave and sick leave are addressed in law by the Holidays Act. Parental leave falls under an Act of its own although there are references to it in our Annual Holidays and Leave publication

For more information on our Annual Holidays and Leave eBook click here >>