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McQueen Dies

The apparent suicide of Alexander McQueen a week after the death of his mother has shocked the fashion world. Alexander McQueen, known as Lee, was famous for his controversial approach and unconventional catwalk shows.

Coming as it does as Fashion Weeks is about to launch, his former colleagues are trying to come to terms with his death and cope with the pressure of work. Death is never easy, even when we know that a colleague is terminally ill.

But the sudden death of a colleague creates an additional unease and sadness and leaves a void in the workplace. When an employee dies, you should try to help your staff deal with the loss and grief; it’s also important to keep the business running smoothly.

Employers who have had to tackle this situation say that strength, sensitivity and flexibility are essential. People grieve in very different ways, depending on many factors, including personality and coping style, life experience, faith, and the nature of the loss.

Employers can support employees by:

  • Telling them face to face about the death;
  • allowing employees to express and share their grief;
  • helping employees, to express sympathy and support to the deceased’s family;
  • remembering their colleague in an appropriate fashion;
  • allowing them time off to attend the funeral;
  • showing understanding if work is disrupted in the short term;
  • if appropriate offering counselling.

If you would like to find out more about how to deal with bereavement counselling and compassionate leave in the workplace get in touch.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in HR solutions, employment law training and HR tools and resources to businesses across the UK.

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