See also ‘Bereavement Leave’ – This is special leave given to an employee on the death of a spouse, child or a member of their immediate family. This type of leave is entirely discretionary and there is no obligation on employers to give this type of leave or to pay the employee for such time off. As this leave is open to interpretation and as employees would deal with such situations in different ways it is important to have a definitive policy in the Employee Handbook specifying when bereavement leave will be given and whether or not the leave will be paid or unpaid.