Cuántos días pertenecen por fallecimiento

How many bereavement days am I allowed?

22 November 2023

How many bereavement days am I entitled to when a family member dies? This is a question that many people ask themselves when a loved one dies because, for work-related reasons, it would be difficult for them to accompany their family members at this time of mourning if they did not have this entitlement which is established in Spanish legislation in the Workers' Statute.

There are uncertainties as to who is entitled to these days of leave due to the death of a family member. For this reason, at Áltima we try to resolve all these questions for those who find themselves in this situation.

To begin with, it should be pointed out that bereavement leave due to a death is granted to a worker when the deceased is a direct relative.

Who is considered as a direct family member?

Bereavement leave due to the death of a family member is given to a worker when the deceased has up to a second degree of consanguinity or affinity, in other words, direct family or in-laws.

This means that the possibility of requesting this leave due to death is limited to the level of kinship with respect to the deceased person. In what way?

  • First-degree relatives. These are parents, children, spouses, common law partners or in-laws.

  • Second-degree relatives. These are brothers, grandparents, grandchildren and brother or sister-in-law.

This excludes uncles and cousins because they belong to the third and fourth degrees of consanguinity, respectively.

It should also be noted that the number of days of bereavement leave after the death of a direct relative is the same, regardless of the degree of kinship. In other words, you are entitled to the days established by law whether that loved one is your father or your brother-in-law.

Does bereavement leave include working days or non-working days as well?

The Workers' Statute establishes, in general, that “the worker, with prior notice and justification, may be absent from work, with the right to remuneration" when an immediate family member dies. How many days of leave due to the death of a family member is the worker entitled to?

  • 2 days if there is no need to travel from one city to another.

  • 4 days if it is necessary to make a trip to another city.

These conditions can be improved depending on whether the professional in question has a collective bargaining agreement that provides for this right.

Furthermore, this leave is paid and does not use up holiday days.

But are we talking about calendar or working days? The law states that the days of leave due to the death of a family member start from the first working day after the death of a loved one, regardless of whether this happened on a working day or a non-working day.

However, there is one exception to note: if public holidays interrupt a regular working week, this requirement does not apply. Therefore, if the leave starts on a Monday and Tuesday is a public holiday, that Tuesday counts as a day of leave and the employee is obliged to return to work on Wednesday.

How to apply for bereavement leave

When a loved one dies, in order to be able to take bereavement leave, it is necessary to ask the company for these days off in order to attend the funeral.

To do this, it is advisable to notify your company in writing, leaving a record of your request with the company. You can do this by e-mail or by sending a fax so that it is recorded and you can justify your absence on the next working day. So it is important that you notify them as soon as possible.

You will have to explain the situation and advise that you will not be going to work during the bereavement leave that you are legally entitled to.

You do not need to take any other steps to be excused from work because the employer cannot refuse to grant you these days of bereavement leave under any circumstances, given that you are entitled to them. However, they may subsequently require you to provide proof of your entitlement, which means that you will have to obtain certain documents.

What documents must be presented in order to qualify for bereavement leave?

If you have to justify your absence after taking bereavement leave, it's important that you can prove two things:

  • The death of your loved one.

  • Your degree of consanguinity with the deceased person.

To do this, you must request the death certificate of your loved one, which will serve as proof to your employer.

To obtain that document, you can request it at the funeral home or the corresponding funeral company without any problem. In fact, most companies of this type are prepared to provide this service immediately for any relatives who have to justify their absence from work.

Although it is not common, your company may also want to verify your degree of consanguinity or affinity with the deceased person to see if you are entitled to bereavement leave for an immediate family member. In this case, it may be sufficient to provide the family register.

As a side note, there are collective agreements or company agreements that give you the possibility to negotiate when and how to take bereavement leave due to the death of a family member. There are cases in which it is even permitted to split these days, but never with the aim of cancelling or preventing the worker from taking this leave because, as we have already seen, the company cannot refuse to allow you to make use of this right. At Áltima we recommend that, in any case, you request the corresponding death certificate in case you are required to provide it. We make it as easy as possible for you to do so.