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Death in Service Policy

This policy provides organisational guidelines for appropriate actions if a member of staff dies while an employee of [the organisation]. The policy covers death by natural causes or as the result of an accident at or outside work.

Introduction

The priority for [the organisation] is to ensure that the family of the employee is helped and supported through the process, and that the administration of the employee’s remaining affairs with [the organisation] are dealt with quickly and effectively. [The organisation] will also seek to provide support and help for colleagues and friends affected by the death.

All staff are reminded that they should make sure [the organisation] has details of their next of kin or who should be contacted in an emergency, and that these details are updated as appropriate, eg on marriage or divorce. Those employees covered by a death in service benefit or life assurance should also make sure that they have completed an expression of wishes form (obtainable from the HR department) and that this is also updated where necessary. If this is not done, any proceeds from the policy may not be paid in accordance with the employee’s wishes.

Where Death Occurs Outside Work

When the employee dies away from the workplace as a result of illness or accident, [the organisation] will establish contact with the family of the employee and offer help and support as appropriate. Specific responsibilities are set out below.

Death While at Work

If the employee dies at work of natural causes, the emergency services will be called immediately to confirm death and take care of the removal of the body. Next of kin will be informed as soon as possible, in person unless distance makes this impractical. The responsibility for ensuring that the family is informed as quickly as possible lies with the HR department, but it may be that the immediate manager or a close colleague known to the family is a more appropriate person to take on the task.

Where the death is unexpected, there may be an autopsy and a coroner’s enquiry. If this should happen, staff are expected to co-operate fully with any investigations and will be given paid time off to do so.

The process is the same if the employee dies as a result of an accident at work. As well as involving the emergency services, [the organisation’s] health and safety advisor must be notified immediately so that they can take appropriate action and also notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Staff are expected to co-operate fully with any investigations into the cause of the accident.

Suicide

Should the employee commit suicide, [the organisation] will offer support to the family to try and help identify the cause. If it is work related, [the organisation] will do all it can to ensure that the circumstances which prompted this action are rectified.

Responsibilities

The immediate manager

The employee’s immediate manager is responsible for:

The HR department

The HR department will take the lead in:

Publicity

In the unlikely event that the employee’s death is of interest to the media, all comment must be left to the chief executive or a nominated deputy.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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