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What counts as a bereavement?

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OPINION: The loss of someone close to you can be a very difficult and traumatic event. Many people will be feeling the full effects of this in light of the Christchurch terrorist attacks.

A bereavement can mean very different things from culture to culture. This includes the who (the proximity of the relationship with the deceased) and the how (what the cultural customs and traditions around death are).

These differences can be hard to understand for people who are not accustomed to them and can also create issues within workplaces where people may have differing expectations.

Employers need to balance the multitude of cultural considerations with the practicalities of the workplace and their legal obligations. This is all made particularly difficult in a context where someone is grieving the loss of a loved one.

* Woman who miscarried 'stunned' to learn she did not qualify for bereavement leave
* New Zealand Steel wrong not to give worker bereavement leave for his whangai brother, ERA rules

The Holidays Act provides up to three days of bereavement leave if an employee suffers the loss of a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild or........

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