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Why Three Days of Bereavement Leave is Not Enough It's time to rethink bereavement leave and the way that we deal with loss in the workplace.

By Amanda Haddaway

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

My dad passed away unexpectedly in July 2022. After a year, I'm still grieving. My own experience made me rethink bereavement leave and the way that we deal with loss and grief in the workplace.

I've worked in human resources for 24 years, and during that time I've reviewed countless bereavement policies for my own previous employers and current clients. The average amount of bereavement time in the United States is three days. Some policies specify the number of days based on the relationship between the employee and the family member, with closer familial relationships being awarded more time. More flexible policies offer bereavement leave for extended family members and even pets.

Employers have expected employees to take a few days off, make arrangements for their loved ones and return to work as if nothing happened. The reality is that three days aren't sufficient to process the death of a close family member. We don't lose someone on day one, grieve for two days and then come back to work like everything is normal. Instead, the grieving process may last weeks, months or even years. Some would argue that the loss never goes away. We just learn to live with it.

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