More than half of employees feel pressure to return to work after a bereavement, new study shows

Two in five adults feel isolated when returning to work after losing a loved one

Alan Jones
Tuesday 06 March 2018 01:10 GMT
Some workers feel they have to justify their grief to others
Some workers feel they have to justify their grief to others (Shutterstock)

More than half of people feel pressured to return to work after a bereavement, according to a new report.

Research by Co-op Funeralcare also found that two in five adults felt isolated when they went back to their job after losing a loved one.

A third of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they needed more than two weeks off before being ready to return to work.

A similar number felt they had to justify their level of grief dealing with the loss of someone not an immediate family member.

David Collingwood, director of funerals for Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Learning to live with grief can involve tackling going back to work, a family birthday, Christmas and many other events that will remind us of the person we’ve lost.

“It’s a common misconception that bereaved people don’t want to talk, which is why I’m not surprised that 46 per cent of people feel avoided.

“One of the most comforting things for people can be getting back into a routine and the support of others is an essential part of this.”

Julia Samuel, author of Grief Works, a study on the way people deal with loss, said she is not surprised by the latest research.

She said: “Bereaved employees who are responded to sensitively, by having a conversation with their boss about what their colleagues are told, what they are concerned about and what might help them, takes very little time and reaps huge rewards in both support and loyalty to the organisation.”


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