Death of a worker: Respond to notification of the death of a worker

When to use this workflow

Use this workflow to deal with the administrative, legal and practical steps that an employer must consider and undertake when it is notified that one of its workers has died.

The employer should carry out the steps in a relatively short space of time. Depending on issues such as its payroll calendar and whether or not external bodies such as insurance providers need to be informed, the employer may need to carry out some steps simultaneously or in a different order. It is therefore advisable for employers to review the full workflow before starting it.

There is very little law on how an employer should deal with a worker's death, so it must always be guided by the circumstances and the wishes of the worker's next of kin.

The workflow does not cover the specific considerations where a worker dies at, or away from, work as the result of a work-related accident.

This workflow is an example of a legally compliant process. Where your organisation's own procedures go beyond the procedure set out in this workflow, you should follow these.

Workflow authors: Produced by the XpertHR editorial team with the assistance of Andrew Peters.

Key Steps

  • Contact the worker's family/next of kin
  • Inform staff of the worker's death and offer support
  • Make arrangements to cover the worker's duties
  • Inform external contacts of the worker's death
  • Make arrangements for any payments due on death
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