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Bereavement leave

Bereavement leave is paid leave for an employee in the event of the death of an immediate family member. It's granted at the time of the bereavement to give the employee time off from work.

You may be granted up to 5 working days paid leave on the death of your:

  • father
  • mother
  • brother
  • sister
  • father-in-law
  • mother-in-law

You are entitled to up to 20 working days paid leave if your spouse or your child dies.

You may also get extra days leave where an immediate relative dies abroad and you must travel to take charge of the funeral arrangements.

Bereavement leave is granted at the time of the bereavement to give the employee time off from work. It is not granted retrospectively. For example, where a bereavement happens during days or shifts when an employee is not normally rostered to work.

In some circumstances, an employee may be given up to 3 days special leave on the death of a more distant relative.

For example, where the employee:

  • lives in the same house as the deceased
  • has to take charge of funeral arrangements

How to apply for bereavement leave

By its nature, notice for bereavement leave cannot be given in advance. You should complete a bereavement leave application form (PDF, 107KB, 2 pages) and give it to your line manager as soon as you return to work.

Line managers are sensitive to the needs of employees in circumstances of bereavement. Support may be offered, if needed, through the Occupational Health Service.

Related documents

Bereavement leave application form (PDF, 107KB, 2 pages)

HSE HR Circular 29/2019 (PDF, 924KB, 4 pages)


National HR Employee Helpdesk

Phone: 1850 444 925


The helpdesk is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2020
Next review due: 20/11/2023