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HR professionals need to know the limits of reasonable time off for employees to grieve and look after dependants following the death of a loved one.
An employee is entitled to take reasonable time off work during working hours to take certain actions in relation to his or her dependants. Among other reasons, this time off can be taken so that the employee can take 'action which is necessary in consequence of the death of a dependant'. 'Dependant' includes, but is not limited to, spouses, children and parents.
In Forster v Cartwright Black  IRLR 781, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) considered the scope of qualifying actions for time off work taken in consequence of the death of a dependant.
During Mrs Forster's employment at Cartwright Black, beginning in August 2003, she took five days' sick leave.
In January 2003, Forster took 12 days' paid bereavement leave following her father's death. Sadly, Forster's mother died in May 2003, upon which Forster took five days' bereavement leave. When this leave expired, Forster's do