Bereavement leave

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EmployerEmployee / worker

wa_image_small.jpg This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.

If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

This is general information on bereavement leave based on the minimum entitlements. 

Frequently asked questions about bereavement leave

Who is entitled to bereavement leave?

Full time, part time and casual employees are entitled to paid bereavement leave.

If an employee is not covered by a WA award, and is paid solely by commission or piece rate, they are not entitled to paid bereavement leave.

What should employees get paid while on bereavement leave?

Employees get paid their current rate of pay when they take bereavement leave.

A casual employee receives their casual loading when they take 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 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;
  • 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, the following periods are not included in the calculation:

  • 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, agreement or legislative provision.

How much bereavement leave do employees get?

Eligible employees, including casuals, are entitled up to two days of paid bereavement leave on the death of a member of the family or household.  

What is bereavement leave for?

Bereavement leave is for time needed for 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.

How often can bereavement leave be taken?

Bereavement leave can be taken for each occasion there is a death of a member of the family or household.

Is unused bereavement leave paid out when the employee leaves?


Can an employer refuse a request for bereavement leave?

No, providing 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.

What if the employee requires more than two days off?

Employees have the option of negotiating with the employer about taking some other form of leave (e.g. annual leave), or taking unpaid leave if more time is required. 

Can an employer request evidence before granting bereavement leave?

Yes, an employer can reasonably request proof of the death and the relationship the deceased person had with employee to be provided before granting bereavement leave.

Does bereavement leave accrue from year to year?

No, the entitlement to bereavement leave is each occasion where there has been death of a family or household member.

Are casuals entitled to bereavement leave?

Yes, casual employees are entitled up to two days of paid bereavement leave. A casual employee is generally paid for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not taken the bereavement leave.

Please contact Wageline for additional information on bereavement leave. 

What records does the employer need to keep?

The employer must keep records of any bereavement leave taken.

All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.

Learn more on the Employment records - Employer obligations page

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