Compassionate leave: The benefits of empathy in business

Compassionate leave isn't a legal requirement in Singapore, but many offer it anyway

Compassionate leave: The benefits of empathy in business

Although compassionate leave isn’t a legal requirement in Singapore, many private sector businesses here offer it anyway. An article written by HRD's Coann Labitoria, looks at what compassionate leave is, the benefits of offering compassionate leave and steps you can take to support a grieving employee.

Also known as bereavement leave, compassionate leave is paid leave offered to employees when a loved one has passed away. Conditions of the leave are usually stated in the employment contract. Typically, there is 2-3 days leave offered.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not require companies to offer bereavement leave entitlements. Businesses who don’t offer the leave can still grant the leave if an employee approaches them for it, but it is not a requirement to do so. Employers should be mindful they do have a duty to care for their employees.

There are benefits to business for offering compassionate leave – it allows employees to properly focus on personal matters without negatively impacting their work and colleagues, it boosts the trust and satisfaction of employees, increasing employee engagement and increasing retention, and in this tight talent squeeze, job seekers will be attracted to companies that offer compassionate leave so you will attract a larger and more diverse talent pool.

How employers can support a grief-stricken employee.

  1. Create a compassionate leave policy. Although it’s not required, having a compassionate leave policy can minimise confusion and misunderstandings.
  2. Help employees adjust back to work environment. Create a safe environment that allows employees to grieve privately and share thoughts with managers when needed. Supporting employees to grieve at their own pace and with their own method can help them adjust back to work.
  3. Offer employee assistance programs. Offering external support enables the employee to properly grieve outside of work hours, which helps separate work from personal life.

To read the full article on compassionate leave click here.

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