1st Edition

Handling Death and Bereavement at Work

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ISBN 9780415347259
Published May 15, 2005 by Routledge
272 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

An estimated 3,500 people die every day in the UK. If someone at work or their partner or close family member dies, managers and colleagues need to respond appropriately. This book breaks new ground in placing bereavement on the management agenda. It addresses some challenging questions such as:

  • What to say and what not to say?
  • How to balance the needs of the person and the job?
  • How do you get it right in a diverse, multi-cultural workforce?
  • How do you decide what time off is reasonable?
  • How can other people at work help, as well as avoiding making the situation worse?

This book is an essential guide for anyone in an organisation who has to take responsibility in the event of death. It covers issues such as what do in the event of a sudden death at work, managing staff who are terminally ill, and practical help after death including funerals. It is a unique and constant point of reference for anyone concerned with one of the most challenging issues to be faced in the workplace.

Table of Contents

Part A: Introduction  1. Is it Any of Our Business?  2. How Organisations Can Help  3. How People at Work Can Help  Part B: Dealing with Loss and Bereavement  4. Bereavement Counselling  5. What are Loss and Bereavement?  6. Elements of Bereavement  7. Helping the Bereaved Person at Work  8. Sudden Death at Work  9. Children and Young People  Part C: Facing Death  10. The Practical Tasks After Death  11. What is Death and What Does it Mean?  12. Preparing for Dying and Death  13. Ignoring Death  14. Choosing When to Die: Suicide and Euthanasia  Part D: The Community, Death and Bereavement  15. Funerals and Rites of Passage  16. Culture, Religion and Death  Part E: Case Studies  Part F: Appendices  1. The Core Conditions of Helping  2. A Checklist for the Bereaved Person  3. Further Reading  4. Organsiations Supporting the Bereaved

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David Charles-Edwards is an experienced management consultant and counsellor in the field of leadership, relationships, diversity, change and loss. A former Industrial Society adviser, he has also led the personnel function in two health authorities and managed the British Association for Counselling (now BACP).


'a useful addition to the HR bookcase as it will help to make sure that employees experiencing the distress of bereavement are provided with appropriate and timely support.' - People Management

‘An incredible amount of invaluable, practical and inspirational material is contained in these 217 pages of sensitive and authoritative text … this guide cannot be too highly recommended for its practical and comprehensive content and sincere, considerate approach.’ - Occupational Health and Safety

‘The anatomy of grief is dealt with especially well … a most humane, practical and good value for money publication.’ Health and Safety At Work

'An extremely practical and useful resource for anyone facing these challenging issues.' - Mortality

‘For HR/personnel managers it will be an invaluable reference; for bereavement support workers it will provide added insight into the complex web of pressures a bereaved person may experience in what they often call the ‘real’ world of their work. This book, very helpfully, locates bereavement well and truly in the real world.’Bereavement Care

‘This tremendously readable book contains a wealth of helpful and practical insights described simply and with great dignity and sensitivity.’Chris Underhill MBE, Director, BasicNeeds

‘A source of ideas, insight and information which is likely to sustain managers, human resource specialists, staff representatives, colleagues as well as the bereaved over a long period of time.’Peter Twist, former Chief Superintendent, The Metropolitan Police

‘Cogent and detailed descriptions of the underlying patterns associated with bereavement at work are dealt with in an accessible language and contain vivid accounts of real life experiences.’From the foreword by Ross Warburton, Chairman, Warburtons

'I have personally lived with the guilt of failing to discuss the realities of death with my employer and workplace colleagues, and I now realise it was foolhardy not to share my pent up emotions.

This book has taken death and bereavement from the darkness into the light, and it will help shop stewards as well as managers and others ensure that the right kind of support is offered to people at work who are bereaved or struggling with a terminal illness. As one former General Secretary of my union said, trade unionists must look after their members from the cradle to the grave.’Sir Bill Morris, General Secretary, Transport and General Workers Union 1991-2003

‘Line managers and HR managers alike will be well advised to invest the time that it takes to read this carefully and sensitively written book, which explores a subject that still too often shrouded in taboo and ignored in the workplace, and to act on the sound advice that it contains.’Simon Armson, psychotherapist and former chief executive, The Samaritans