Bereavement leave

This page is for: 
EmployerEmployee / worker

wa_image_small.jpg This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system

This is general information on the minimum entitlement to bereavement leave based on the state Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993. WA awards, industrial agreements and contracts of employment may provide an employee with a more beneficial entitlement. 

Full time, part time and casual employees are entitled to up to two days of paid bereavement leave on the death of a member of the family or household. A member of the family or household means any of the following people:

  • the employee’s spouse or de facto partner
  • a child, step child or grandchild of the employee (including an adult child, step child or grandchild)
  • a parent, step parent or grandparent of the employee
  • a sibling of the employee
  • any other person who at, or immediately before, the relevant time lived with the employee as a member of the employee’s household.

Bereavement leave can be taken for each occasion there is a death of a member of the family or household. Bereavement leave does not accrue from year to year and unused bereavement leave is not paid out when an employee ceases employment. 

An employer can reasonably request proof of the death, and the employee's relationship with the deceased person, before granting bereavement leave. Provided that the requirements for bereavement leave are satisfied and proof can be supplied of the employee’s relationship with the deceased, it is unlawful to refuse a request for bereavement leave.

Pay for bereavement leave

Employees get paid their current rate of pay when they take bereavement leave. A casual employee receives their casual loading, and is generally paid for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not taken the bereavement leave.

Commission-only and piece rate employees are to be paid the highest of the following for a period of bereavement leave:

  • a rate payable under a WA award, industrial agreement, or contract of employment for a period of leave;
  • a rate calculated according to the employee’s average weekly earnings over a period totalling 365 days immediately before the time the bereavement leave is taken; or
  • the applicable minimum rate of pay.

Where the rate of payment for a period of bereavement leave is being calculated according to the employee’s average weekly earnings over the 365 days before the leave is taken, any period during which the employee was on unpaid leave and any period during which the employee was stood down in accordance with an award, industrial agreement or legislative provision are not included in the calculation.

Record keeping and payslip obligations  

It is compulsory for employers to keep employment records, including all leave taken. It is also compulsory for employers to provide employees with a payslip. Learn more on the Employment records - Employer obligations page.


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