When an employee dies

Informing people when an employee dies

Guide

When an employee dies, you will need to inform other members of staff with sensitivity and compassion. The death of an employee can have an impact on the whole workforce. It can be especially difficult if the death was sudden, happened at work or if multiple friends and family members are all employed by the same organisation. How you handle the death of an employee can have long-lasting implications on the relations between the employer and the workforce. Be as honest as you can about the cause of death.

You might want to:

  • Inform those closest to the employee first, offering your condolences.
  • Communicate the news in a private environment if possible.
  • Allow staff time off to grieve and attend the funeral.
  • Encourage employees to seek counselling if necessary - many employees have access to a support scheme through their workplace or can search for a bereavement counsellor.
  • Offer support to employees affected by the death and operate an open-door policy to those people affected by emotional distress. It's a good idea to talk to employees regularly to see how they are coping and signpost them to any support that is available to them.

Informing outside contacts of an employee death

You also need to contact customers and suppliers - anyone who used to deal with the employee - to let them know of the death. How you do this will depend on the relationship you have with them. You may choose to email or post a letter, or you may decide to telephone.