As an employee, dealing with the loss of a loved one is always challenging. Fortunately, in Ontario, workers covered by a collective agreement with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) are entitled to bereavement leave. This leave, which is designed to provide employees with the time and support they need to grieve their loss, is an essential benefit that can help them navigate the challenges of losing a loved one.

Under the collective agreement between OPSEU and the Ontario government, eligible employees can take up to five days of paid bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member. Immediate family members include a spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or any person who served as a parent. The leave is provided without the need for employees to use their sick leave or vacation time.

An employee who wishes to take bereavement leave must notify their supervisor as soon as possible and provide appropriate documentation, such as a death certificate or obituary notice. This documentation is necessary to confirm the date and relationship of the deceased family member.

It is important to note that bereavement leave can be taken in a variety of ways, such as a block of time all at once or spread out over a series of days. Additionally, employees may use bereavement leave to attend the funeral, memorial service, or other related events.

It`s important to remember that bereavement leave is not just about taking time off work. It`s also about providing employees with the support they need during a difficult time. Employers should be compassionate and offer resources such as counseling or employee assistance programs to help their staff cope with their loss. A compassionate and understanding workplace can make all the difference to affected employees.


Bereavement leave is an important benefit for OPSEU employees and their families. It provides support and time off to grieve the loss of a loved one, without the added stress of using vacation time or sick leave. Employers must ensure that employees receive the support they need to deal with the challenges associated with losing a loved one. As an employee, don`t hesitate to take advantage of this important benefit if you need it. As an employer, remember that being compassionate and supportive during your employees` time of need can help them get through this difficult period.

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