Bereavement in the Workplace

The ICTU, in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation, the HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention, and IBEC, recently issued a ‘Grief in the Workplace:  Responding to Suicide Guide’.

This Guide contains a lot of general guidance and resources around bereavement which will be a helpful tool for IFUT Branch representatives, of assistance to IFUT members, your colleagues, or members of your wider community.  

The Guide is divided into 3 sections on supporting employees who are bereaved by suicide in their personal lives; how to respond when an employee, contractor or member of the public dies by suicide; and suggestions for developing a bereavement policy to deal with suicide in the workplace. 

There is also a list of useful contact details and guidelines for responding to suicide in the workplace in the Appendices.

The full guide and accompanying E-learning course can be accessed here

IFUT Head Office is currently working with Branches to seek improvements to Bereavement Leave for our members to bring their entitlements in line with that available in other sectors of the Public Service.  

The ICTU recently published a ‘Trade Unions and Mental Health’ guide which was brought to the attention of the Executive and Council and is another valuable tool that IFUT representatives will utilise to improve the working lives of our members.  It is important that Branches and all IFUT members are aware of the document and of its contents.  We are all aware of the impacts the pandemic has had on everybody, where most of the workforce of the country took to working online overnight, and the additional stressors that this placed on everyone.  IFUT have discussed at all meetings (Branch, Executive, Council, inter-Branch meetings) various aspects of the difficulties that have arisen, as we navigated our way through an entirely unfamiliar landscape with no charts to guide us.  It is imperative as a Trade Union that IFUT ensures that our workplaces are safe for our members and that members who have any difficulties in their workplace know that IFUT are here to support them.  

Now we have these important Guides with specific actions which IFUT will seek to get implemented to improve the working lives of our members.