Compassionate Leave (Time Off for Dependants & Bereavement)


Active recognises that time off for dependants is designed to support employees where emergencies arise that are related to children or dependants. The Company will allow employees to take reasonable unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. This leave is intended to cover genuine emergencies.


A dependant is defined by the statute as;

‘the partner, child, or parent of the employee, or someone who lives with the employee as part of their family. It does not include tenants or boarders living in the family home, or someone who lives in the home as an employee, e.g. a live-in nanny. In cases of illness, injury or where care arrangements break down, a dependant may also be someone who can reasonably be said to rely on the employee for assistance’.


Leave may be granted to an employee for the purpose of dealing with a situation involving a dependant such as for example:

A child or dependant who is sick, injured or assaulted

An adult for whom an employee cares where no other arrangements can reasonably be made for someone else to look after the person

A serious incident involving a child at school

A serious illness involving a dependant

A child or dependant whose usual care arrangements are unexpectedly disrupted

Time off for dependants will not be granted to deal with predictable domestic arrangements that could be accommodated using annual or flexi-leave (for example regular childcare and childcare during the school holidays).

Employees must report their absence to their line manager as soon as is reasonably practicable by telephone. Please note, texting is not acceptable. They also need to advise of the reason for their absence and how long they expect to be away from work.


Reactions to bereavement may vary greatly according to individual circumstances and the setting of fixed rules for time off is therefore inappropriate. You should discuss your circumstances with your manager and agree the appropriate time off without pay.

Employees are entitled to up to 2 weeks’ leave following the death of a child under 18, including a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parental bereavement leave is paid at the lower of the employee’s normal weekly earnings or the current statutory rate.

Refusal of leave

An employee who feels that they have been unreasonably refused the right to compassionate, domestic emergency or bereavement leave or who feels that they have been victimised for requesting leave should, in the first instance raise the matter with their line manager. They have the right to raise the matter through the grievance procedure.

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