Policy Manual

Bereavement Policy

Regular staff members are provided with paid time off for making arrangements, settling family affairs, bereavement, and/or attending the funeral or memorial service of a member of their immediate family. The University reserves the right to require documentation of the death (e.g., death certificate, obituary, documentation from funeral home).

Time off for a death in the family is arranged by notifying the staff member's immediate supervisor. Time off requests must be entered in Workday. If the staff member is unable to do so, their supervisor may enter the request in Workday on behalf of the staff member.

Questions on this policy should be referred to Human Resources at 866-799-2329.


1.  A maximum of five (5) days off with pay is permitted upon the death of a regular staff member's: 

  • spouse
  • child
  • brother or sister
  • parent or guardian
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • mother-in-law or father-in-law
  • brother-in-law or sister-in-law

Regular staff member's directly related step relations are also included in this category.

2.  A maximum of three (3) days off with pay is permitted upon the death of a regular staff member's directly related:

  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • aunt or uncle

3.  One (1) day off with pay is permitted upon the death of a regular staff member's directly related:

  • first cousin
  • nephew or niece

4.  For time reporting purposes, full-time exempt monthly-paid staff are treated as working 40 hours per week (8 hours per day/5 days per week). This is for tracking purposes only and is not intended to reflect actual hours worked. 

5.  The allotted days off with pay do not have to be consecutive. However, the allotted time off should be used within one year of the death of the family member.

6.  A staff member may make a request to their immediate supervisor (and in Workday) to use their Paid Time Off (PTO) allowance for the death of family members or friends not covered by this policy, or if the staff member needs additional days off in excess of the time allowances outlined above due to the death of a family member covered by this policy.


University staff covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate article in their contract.

NoteLosing a loved one is never easy. To help ease the impact of losing a family member, Penn offers access to funeral planning and funeral-related concierge service. This special benefit is available to faculty and regular staff enrolled in any of the University's life insurance plans. See the Funeral Planning Support and Services section of the Life Insurance page for more information.

Policy Number: 609
Effective Date: 9/06/2011
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 508, 609 (09/01/1991, 10/14/2002)
Applicability: All Regular Staff Members
Cross-reference:  Paid Time Off - Policy 607Time Reporting - Policy 310Attendance - Policy 603

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