How common is funeral leave for a grandparent's death?

My workplace offers three days paid funeral leave for the deaths of “close relatives”, which is defined as mother/father, mother-in-law/father-in-law, siblings, or children. I’ve always wondered why grandparents are not on that list, as I could not imagine not attending a grandparent’s funeral. I had to attend my grandfather’s funeral today, and fortunately I was able to because I had vacation time to use. My parents were surprised I had to use vacation time for this, since, as my dad put it, “grandparents are pretty close relatives.”

My last job included grandparents (and grandchildren) as close enough relatives for funeral leave, and I’m wondering which is more unusual. Is this a generational thing? Most of my coworkers are Boomers, and they were kind of surprised that I, at the age of 34, still have living grandparents (and one of my grandmothers is still alive, so this is likely to come up again.) However, my husband, who is the same age as I am, still has a living grandmother as well, so I don’t think it’s that unusual (and I also would like to attend my grandmother-in-law’s funeral when the time comes, but if the timing is wrong, especially since travel would be involved, I won’t be able to.)

I’ve wanted to ask my workplace why they don’t consider grandparents close relatives (I know they have to draw the line somewhere, but these are direct ancestors, for Pete’s sake!) but I don’t know if I should broach the topic or just keep my little head down in “these tough economic times”. So, I want to know what the norm is for the United States, and I’m curious what it’s like around the world.

I get it - it’s completely discretionary, though, so you don’t know how much you get until after the fact. I got one more day for Grandma than for Grandpa for some reason - not enough, though, to get up to Pittsburgh, help out with a funeral, and get back.

The allowance where I work is three days’ compassionate leave when a member of your “immediate family” dies, plus an additional two days’ leave if attendance at the funeral requires travelling outside Australia.

From our HR Policy Manual:

Not exactly what you are looking for, as I live and work in Canada, but my company offers bereavement for grandparents/grandchildren. When my uncle died two years ago, I discovered that aunts and uncles were not included. It’s three days across the board, no matter the (close) relationship. Three days was fine for grandparents (I’ve had two die since I have been with the company). Three days didn’t begin to cover it when my brother died. It wouldn’t have covered to the funeral. I ended up being out almost a month. My company was awesome about it.

Every job I’ve had bereavement leave, it’s always been officially your mother, father or children. Basically one generation up and one generation down.

I have no kids and no parents so I argued with HR succsessfully to allow me to go to a friend’s funeral because it wasn’t fair that other’s were getting a benefit, and I wasn’t.

You’ve always had to prove bereavement leave in the jobs I’ve worked in so there was no abuse with having granny die multiple times over.

This thread made me curious about my employer’s policy. I looked it up and learned that I am allowed to use up to five days of sick leave for the death of:

Spouse; domestic partner; mother; father; sister; brother; biological, adopted, or foster child; stepchild; legal ward; grandparent; grandchild; mother-in-law; father-in-law; sister- in-law; brother-in-law; daughter-in-law; son-in-law; grandparent-in-law; grandchild-in- law; or corresponding relatives of the employee’s partner; other persons for whom the employee is legally responsible; and anyone who stood in loco parentis to the employee as a child.

Just look mine up
Get 3 days for in state funeral, 5 days for out of state. The state is California.

Family is Mother, Father, setp parents, Brother, sister, spouse, child, step children, mother in law, father in law, brother in law, sister in law, Grandparents, grandchildren, and registered domestic partner.

At one time it was roommate.

I’ve used it to go to my aunt’s funeral (2-3 days, travelling by air), and my grandpa’s (almost one week, again, air travel). I took more time in the later because:

  • I knew the funeral would take place either Thursday or Friday, and rather than return on a weekend, I decided to extend it to Monday.

  • My mom had, six months earlier, lost her only sister (my aunt from the previous funeral trip). She cared for her father in his last few years, and was (and is still) very depressed due to their deaths so close together.

  • Same as above, in relation to me, but I was not as severely affected (but then, my sibs and parents are still around knocks wood).

  • I was using my frequent flyer miles, and doing it that way (taking extra days) was easier and cheaper in scheduling.

I was lucky to work in a close-knit department, and study with understanding teachers. This is the south, though, so (at least from my years of culture immersion) they are more family-oriented than other places.

Wow, I find these policies kind of repugnant. Why not say ‘‘family member’’ and leave it at that? My absolute closest family member is my aunt; I would be absolutely wrecked if she died, and she’s not even on the list!

I’m not sure whether it’s actually by national law or not (Estatuto General de los Trabajadores), but every job I’ve had in Spain included bereavement leave “for relatives up to second degree, including those by marriage.” That includes grandparents, siblings and grandchildren, but not nephews or uncles, although I know companies that give leave for uncles.

olivesmarch4th, I used to go to class with a 13th-degree relative… where I’m from, that’s actually quite normal. Giving bereavement leave any time “a family member” died would mean I’d be allowed bereavement leave any time anybody from my paternal grandmother’s mother’s birthtown died, as they’re all family. The place has 6000 inhabitants.

True Nava, although I find it weird that they exclude aunts/uncles, nephews/nieces. I understand (partly) not including cousins, for what you say. Yet, at least aunts/uncles helped, in some cases, to raise the person, perhaps even more than a grandparent would. To exclude them, especially if grandparents are included, seems a bit weird.

Customs re. childraising probably have a lot to do with it, too; I know several people who were raised or lived for years with their grandparents without being adopted by them (my cousins, several of my classmates who lived outside of Spain and were sent “home” for part of their schooling), but not any case where that happened with uncles.

Nava: You’re right about customs. For me, I saw it mixed, where friends/classmates would stay extended times with their aunt/uncle, not just their grandparents.

Our policy is 3 days for parents, kids, siblings and grandparents (any variety such as step or in-law included) and one day for aunts, uncles, nieces or cousins.

My last job was 5 days for up to grandparents, down to grandchildren and included out to uncle/aunt and niece/nephew.

They were amazing, they let me telecommute from out of state the 4 months that my dad was in surgical intensive care - there was a requirement for me to be instate for my job, so that was pretty decent. They also let me shift my daily hours around, as long as i was working for 8 hours, they didn’t care if it was normal day hours, or if I broke it into 2 4 hour shifts, or did it all at night, as long as i got my 8 hours logged in. That was great for taking my mom to the hospital for a couple hours a day =)

When dad finally died, I got the 5 days, and another 3 weeks of time telecommuting from there to help deal with legal crap associated with the estate and family trust stuff.

Of course they sent the funerary floral arrangement to my place in Connecticut … but they tried :smiley:

Well my Grandmothers cousin died a few months ago. She was raised by my Grandmothers parents (her father died in WWII) and she was like a sibling to her. Later she was very close to my mother and then me and my sister.

I know its GQ, but I did not care about leave when she died, they could put it to any thing for all I cared.

If you are wondering whether you get leave, I don’t think its a close reletive.

To the OP, I agree the absence of GP’s on your companies list is stupid.

The grandparents have been on the approved paid leave at ever place I worked. You only got one day for the funeral. Siblings and parents were three days paid leave. You could take off more days without pay.

When my grandfather died last year, I discovered that the company’s bereavement leave policy only officially covered parents, siblings, and children. I had already used all my allocated holiday that year but I explained the situation to my boss and he allowed me a day’s leave to attend the funeral. I was expecting this to be unpaid but I think it was paid in the end. This was all totally discretionary, though, and to be fair I can see why - everyone’s circumstances are going to be different, after all. For example, most people won’t have to get involved with directly organising things on the death of a grandparent, but if they were I’m sure that would be taken into account by a reasonable employer.

Ours is quite generous. Three paid emergency days, and up to an additional seven paid sick days. So ten days paid. Provided you have the sick days. But that is also quite generous. You accrue it and it’s unlimited. I have over 700 hours of sick leave saved up. The additional 7 days was recently added when a co-worker lost his mother. She was out of state, and he was the only one in the family that was together enough to take care of things.

This covers –

The official company policy reads up to 5 working days off for the employee or spouse’s: spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, stepparent or stepchild. But a few years ago, when my SO’s aunt died, my manager oked my taking off a couple of days.

That’s what I’ve expected at my last couple of jobs. There is the official list of approved relatives, and there is a manager’s discretion.