#leavetogrieve Media Release

Grief does not discriminate
Give every worker decent leave to grieve

Launch of a campaign for 10 days minimum bereavement leave

Saturday 11 August, 3pm-5pm
Lonergan & Raven Funerals, 187 Queens Pde, Clifton Hill.

One thing we all have in common? At some point, we’re all going to die.

Anger, deep sadness, mood swings, insomnia and loss of appetite are just some of the common emotional and physical impacts of grieving a loved one. If the death of a family member or partner is sudden, the bereaved have an elevated risk of multiple psychiatric disorders.  Yet most workers are entitled to just two or three days bereavement leave under the National Employment Standards and many enterprise agreements.

The latest version of the psychiatry handbook, the DSM V, was criticised for allowing two weeks as the bereavement period before a person’s grief symptoms could be classified as ‘depression’.

Yet within two days, under the National Employment Standards, we are expected to switch off grief, complete any practical tasks associated with a person’s death, and return to our work duties.

This is not in the employee’s, nor employer’s interests. We’re launching a campaign for 10 days’ minimum bereavement leave.

Who are we?

Memoleaves.com is a website dedicated to the sharing of stories of death and its impact on the living. It is a place to connect with stories and source practitioners and services for the end of life and after.

Three woman – Samantha Bladon a psychotherapist, Lauren Martyn a digital producer, and Yael Naidoo a filmmaker – who met through their children’s school, created memoleaves.com to recognise death and bereavement as an important part of life.

At the campaign launch, Memoleaves will begin circulating a change.org petition asking the Federal Government to extend bereavement leave under the National Employment Standards to 10 days. We are also asking for an additional 12 weeks extended bereavement leave to be available within the first 12 months after a loved one’s death in extenuating circumstances as advised by a mental health professional.

“When my father died, I was at Uni. There was no question of how much time I could take off, I took what I needed. My mother however, who was in the workforce, was expected to take only two days leave to grieve.”

Many employers are providing more than the two days days bereavement leave allocated under the National Employment Standards as they recognise this is inadequate for the loss of a close relationship. It’s time for the government to catch up.

For more information https://memoleaves.com/bereavement-leave/

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