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Bereavement Leave - in-laws covered?

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18 replies to this topic

#1 *JAC*

Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:29 AM


Hoping you can settle an argument. Would you be able to use bereavement leave at work for a day off to attend your brother in law's funeral? So doesn't come out of your sick leave? Private sector.


#2 Caribou

Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:30 AM


Fair work covers this in detail.


#3 *JAC*

Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:43 AM

I have seen that, and it is covered for a spouse's sibling but no mention of a partner of a sibling? I.e. my sister's husband?

#4 MsLaurie

Posted 18 May 2019 - 12:43 PM

In Anglo family structure and naming, “brother-in-law” is both your sister’s husband and your husbands’ brother  and your husbands’ sister’s husband.

They’re considered effectively the same thing, so you shouldn’t have any issues.

#5 qak

Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:06 PM

I agree with the above re the BIL relationship, but the FW link says:
"Compassionate leave can be taken when a member of an employee's immediate family or household:"

which to my eyes is either:
"immediate family" (as defined - so that particular BIL doesn't meet the definition); or
"household" which he probably doesn't meet either unless they all live together.

I think it would be pretty mean to not allow the leave, but if we want to strictly adhere to the rules, then it most likely would be no.

#6 Pearson

Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:19 PM

child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner).

#7 Pearson

Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:21 PM

Either way it's not sick leave.

#8 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:56 PM

View Post*JAC*, on 18 May 2019 - 11:29 AM, said:


Hoping you can settle an argument. Would you be able to use bereavement leave at work for a day off to attend your brother in law's funeral? So doesn't come out of your sick leave? Private sector.


We have personal leave, which includes all kinds of leave - sick leave, carer's leave, emergency leave, bereavement leave, moving leave, etc. Personal leave is separate to annual leave and long service leave. We get 25 days a year for personal leave.

If we want to take leave to attend a funeral, we tick personal leave and then are required for what reason (see above). I am attending a funeral next week - I have used personal leave and have ticked the bereavement box. For my workplace, in-laws are included in definition of family. In reality, they don't often check who it's for (the deceased person's relationship to you) unless you are requesting leave for a period of greater than 3 days. For a single day, my supervisor has never asked who the day of bereavement leave is for, but technically they could if they wanted to.

View PostPearson, on 18 May 2019 - 02:21 PM, said:

Either way it's not sick leave.
No, but's it's often taken out the same pot of leave ("personal leave")

#9 RynandStompy

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:09 PM

Our workplace is pretty corporate and also uses bereavement leave to mean family and close friends. I know of no manager in my area who's tried to be a definition stickler. Sadly we've lost some colleagues in both Melb and Syd offices over past year. Any staff attending funerals were also given bereavement leave.

#10 chicken_bits

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:33 PM

View Post*JAC*, on 18 May 2019 - 11:43 AM, said:

I have seen that, and it is covered for a spouse's sibling but no mention of a partner of a sibling? I.e. my sister's husband?

That's really bizarre that it's not included in the definition. They're so specific with everything else.

You'd have to be a real jerk of a boss to argue against it.

#11 Team Awesome

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:45 PM

My workplace interpreted the workplace law as it counted for spouse, children and family of origin inlaws didn’t apply. Which was very frustrating as initially they said it did and only after I went and took two days off and found out that I had to have it taken out of my annual leave.

#12 kimasa

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:12 PM


I've recieved bereavement leave twice, both times were in-law situations- both of DH's grandmothers. The first time occurred before we were married, but we were living together.

#13 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:49 PM

View PostPearson, on 18 May 2019 - 02:21 PM, said:

Either way it's not sick leave.
It all comes out of the "personal leave" entitlement at my workplace.

It is so crappy. As if an in-law, even if you were personally not close, should not be a time that you were there for your partner or sibling, who is technically more closely related. Are you truly not expect to be affected by the death of, and attend the funeral of, a parent or sibling in-law?

I recently had a family member refused travel insurance. Her uncle died. While I appreciate for many people an uncle might be relatively non-impacting, he was single, lived in the same suburb, spent extraordinary amounts of time with her, and was relatively young. I wish there was a way to "prove" closeness of relationship.

On the flip side, I can understand why organisations broadly need to protect themselves. I worked for an organisation where we had a set amount of compassionate leave. I had a colleague who claimed 4 grand parents a year. Obviously he ruined it for many of us, as when my grandmother died, they tried to demand a copy of the death certificate.

I would like to think that management within an organisation at a local level know their staff well enough to have an understanding of who is genuine and who is rorting the system.

#14 Shellby

Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:56 PM

For my work agreement I was covered when my DH sisters husband died - I was allowed the full 3 paid shifts for ILs relationship. We only get 5 days for spouse or children death, rest is 3 days. After that you have to use personal leave or holiday.

I did have a manager allow me a paid day off to attend my husbands cousins newborn funeral - I think you can get overrides on agreements depending on relationships- my husbands family is close.

#15 JBH

Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:59 PM

I would approve it, provided you hadn’t taken a remarkable number of bereavement leave days for extended family.

#16 notsoretro

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:13 PM

My Mum died in January and I was paid 2 days "compassionate leave" and the rest was annual leave, private company in NSW

#17 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

My reading of the Fair Work rules is that it doesn’t technically cover the death of a sibling’s partner. I can understand why not as it is already relatively generous in who it covers IMO, especially since it covers both life threatening illness and death. E.g. when my mum had a stroke I took two days paid bereavement leave (plus extra annual leave) to go and be with her. And was then able to take two more days of paid bereavement leave to go back for the funeral when she died a few weeks later. I took two days paid bereavement leave last year when my MIL died.

PP who indicated that you don’t get bereavement leave, it’s the law that you are entitled to it.

#18 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:06 PM


Immediate Family means a person who is: (a) a domestic partner (including a former domestic partner); or (b) a child or an adult child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee or domestic partner of the employee; or © a person related to the employee by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander kinship structures; or (d) a child who is the subject of a permanent caring arrangement; or (e) an adopted child.
This is our EA definition of immediate family. We are also entitled to the leave for household members.

I was slightly wrong - with death, we are entitled to up to 5 days p.a. It is life threatening illness or injury that is classed as compassionate leave, but comes off personal leave.

#19 frogcal

Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:18 PM

Brother-in-law = sibling of your spouse Yes
Brother-in-law = spouse of your sibling No

It is weirdly specific, and my workplace would not allow use of sick leave for cases outside of the FW definitions. You would have to use annual leave.

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