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Bereavement support scheme unveiled to support grieving workers

This news post is 11 months old

Employers will be given the opportunity to work towards the Bereavement Charter Mark.

A new scheme has launched to make workplaces better for people in Scotland who are grieving.

The new Bereavement Charter Mark will recognise employers who support bereaved staff, and launched alongside a Bereavement-Friendly Workplaces Toolkit providing tips and advice on how employers, managers and colleagues can support people who are grieving.

The new resources were produced by the Scottish Bereavement Charter Group, and Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, a charity initiative working to make Scotland a place where everyone knows how to help when someone is caring, dying or grieving. 

Rebecca Patterson, director of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, said: “Losing someone we love is the hardest thing many of us have to go through, and the pandemic has made life even more difficult for people who are bereaved.No-one can take away someone’s grief, but employers have the power to make someone’s life a little better or a lot worse.”

To gain the new Bereavement Charter Mark, employers must agree to take some simple steps towards creating a supportive environment for people who are bereaved, for example educating staff about bereavement, or creating a local bereavement policy.

The resources include a charter mark that gives recognition to employers working to become more bereavement-friendly, an employer’s guide to the Bereavement Charter, a leaflet (‘What to do when a colleague has been bereaved’), and checklist of things to do to become a bereavement-friendly workplace.

Donald Macaskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, said: “Becoming a bereavement-friendly workplace doesn’t have to be expensive - a lot of it is about flexibility, sensitivity and good communication.” 

“The Charter Mark and Toolkit help employers to see how simple actions by colleagues and managers can make a big difference to people who are living with grief.”

The new resources were launched as part of Demystifying Death Week which ran from May 2 to 6, which aims to shine a light on death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.

Mark Hazelwood, chief executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, said: “People usually want to do the right thing when someone they know is caring, dying or grieving. But often they can feel awkward offering help, or worry about making things worse.” 

“Demystifying death week, and the new Bereavement Charter Mark and Workplaces Toolkit, are about giving people knowledge, skills and opportunities to plan and support each other through death, dying, loss and care.”



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