Cruse welcomes Co-op’s new bereavement leave policy

Co-op has launched a new compassionate leave policy, and introduced resources for bereaved colleagues developed in partnership with Cruse.

May 4, 2023

Co-op’s new colleague compassionate leave policy  has been launched ahead of Dying Matters Awareness Week, to better support its 57,000 colleagues when someone close to them dies or is seriously ill.

The new policy gives greater flexibility for paid leave for bereavement, giving managers the discretion to make the right decisions for colleagues. Colleagues can take up to 10 days paid leave when needed, at any time, regardless of the relationship to the person who has died.

Co-op is also making new resources available to support people to have better conversations so that no one has to deal with grief alone. The new resources developed with Cruse’s help include:

  • A support guide for managers about bereavement and loss
  • A pack for colleagues who are affected by grief
  • A number of short practical guides such as ‘Returning to work following a bereavement’, ‘Talking to someone who is bereaved’ and ‘Where to get more help’
  • Specific bereavement support relating to terminal illness, recognising the impact of preparatory or anticipatory grief for colleagues.

We welcome this news today that Co-op will be introducing a new bereavement leave policy that is more compassionate and flexible for their employees. Bereavement and grief is an entirely personal experience and this refreshed policy allows for people to take the time away from work and grieve in whatever way they need. It’s my hope that other organisations step up and adopt this important and inspiring change from our colleagues at Co-op, so that more grieving people are treated with kindness and respect by their employees at the times that they really need it

Steven Wibberley, Cruse CEO

Here at Co-op, we want to support our colleagues when someone close to them dies or is seriously ill. We know that modern life can be complicated, so there are no restrictions about the relationships or situations that we give compassionate leave for. We also know that the death of someone close, or finding out about a terminal diagnosis, can affect people in different ways, so our new compassionate leave policy provides the right support to everyone.

Claire Costello, Chief People and Inclusion Officer at Co-op