5.6 Bereavement Leave

5.6.1 An employee shall be granted bereavement/tangihanga leave on pay to allow a reasonable opportunity for the employee to discharge his or her obligations and/or to pay his or her respects to a deceased person with whom they have had a close association. The entitlement to this leave extends to the death of any member of the employee’s family, or person who, because of particular cultural requirements on the employee, he or she is obliged to attend to as a part of a tangihanga or its equivalent.

5.6.2 In exercising its discretion to grant this leave, and in fixing the length of leave the employer must discharge its obligations in a culturally sensitive manner taking into account the following:

    1. the closeness of the association between the employee and the deceased
    2. the responsibilities of the employee for any or all of the arrangements for the ceremonies resulting from the death
    3. the amount of time needed properly to discharge any responsibilities/or obligations by an employee
    4. reasonable travelling time, provided that the employer need not take into account total travelling time where an employee must attend a funeral overseas. However any decision regarding the length of bereavement leave will be no less than the minimum amounts set out by Section 70 of the Holidays Act 2003 (external link) .


    1. The minimum entitlement prescribed in the Holidays Act 2003 for a bereavement on the death of the employee’s spouse, parent, child, brother or sister, grandparent, grandchild or spouse’s parent is three days paid leave.
    2. The minimum entitlement prescribed in the Holidays Act 2003 for a bereavement on the death of any other person where obligations such as those in 5.6.1 exist is one day.

5.6.3 The employer’s decision on this leave and the length of such leave will be made as quickly as possible so that the employee is given maximum time possible to make any arrangements necessary. In most cases the necessary approval will be given immediately, but may be given retrospectively where necessary. If paid leave is not appropriate then leave without pay shall be granted, but as a last resort.


    1. Where an employee is absent on annual leave and a bereavement occurs the employer shall be notified and will determine the number of days of bereavement leave to be granted in accordance with 5.6.2 above. The days shall replace the annual leave.
    2. If bereavement leave is sought while an employee is absent on sick leave or any other leave with pay, the employer may agree to such leave being interrupted and bereavement leave being granted in its place.
    3. The above provision will not apply if the employee is on leave without pay.

5.6.5 Payment of bereavement leave will be an amount that is equivalent to the employee’s relevant daily pay for each day of bereavement leave taken that would otherwise be a working day for the employee.

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