How to deal with death of an employee

Submitted by EUM on Thu, 11/01/2018 - 14:42

Employers often face difficult Human Resource challenges. One of these challenges can be the death of an employee.

The reality is that an employer has very little time to move from tragedy to strategy, but it is important for the employer to show discretion, empathy and compassion towards the employee’s family. Your other employees, clients and bigger audiences are going to pay attention and remember how meaningful your actions were to all parties involved.

Do you have any controls in place for such an event? Here are a few suggestions of what you should keep in mind when dealing with a death in the workplace.

It is important to communicate with the family as soon as you can. You need to establish what happened and how much information the family would like to be shared with your employees.

Any information about the funeral must be communicated with the staff. This should be done timeously and in person.

Employees will react differently. Depending on the circumstances of the death you need to consider a trauma council to be available to your employees.

Release a formal statement to your colleagues in other locations, your clients, suppliers and important business associates. The statement will include high level information about the passing or your employee and contingency measures you have put in place.

The sad reality is an employer might have to deal with this more than once. It is therefore very important to be consistent and to deal similar with each situation.

The employer will need to deal with the administrative elements of the death of the employee. If Group Life cover is in place, arrange for urgent submission of the claim and communicate with the family.

EUM offers funeral covers for employees for as little as R35 for R20 000 family cover. This will enable the employer to assist the family with the immediate financial assistance for the burial.


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