Suffering a life-threatening personal injury or losing a loved one is a hard thing to experience, but, sadly, it’s something many of us will experience at some point in our lives.
Fortunately, all UK industries are required to give anyone in this scenario adequate compassionate leave, a period of paid leave for you to come to terms with what’s happened and spend time with family.
In the UK, the standard length of compassionate leave is three paid days annually, though this can differ depending on your circumstances and industry, with some sectors undoubtedly better for offering leave than others.
To help inform you which UK industries offer the best and worst compassionate leave, we surveyed 1,500 UK employees across a variety of occupations and ranked each sector from best to worst.
With this in mind, here are the top five best and worst UK industries for compassionate leave.
The best UK industries for compassionate leave
While many might assume that fast-paced and intense roles could be less accommodating with their compassionate leave policy, our results show that this is clearly not the case.
Without a doubt, the best UK industry for compassionate leave is healthcare, providing, on average, five paid days of compassionate leave.
Given their profession, this makes sense, as they no doubt fully understand the emotional and physical trauma you might be experiencing.
In fact, 77% of those we spoke with within the healthcare industry feel that they’re supported by their employer, with 78.4% feeling that their workplace is compassionate.
That being said, only 49.5% actually feel comfortable telling their employer that they need time off, perhaps evidencing the responsibility they feel towards their role.
Property is also an excellent UK industry for compassionate leave, again offering five days. But while 71.4% feel their workplace is compassionate, as little as 28.6% feel comfortable telling employers they need time off.
The remaining three brilliant UK industries for compassionate leave also offer five days total, with those we spoke to in the Information and communication, education, and data industries all holding similar opinions to those in the healthcare and property industries.
The worst UK industries for compassionate leave
An important thing to note when looking at compassionate leave is that, while three days is considered the standard, it is not the legal minimum. Given this caveat, it’s unsurprising that some industries fall short of this number.
Without a doubt, the worst UK industry for compassionate leave is agriculture, offering just two days, with a mere 54% of those we spoke to actually feeling supported by their employer.
To put this into perspective, this is the lowest rate of employer support felt by employees in any industry. In fact, just 45% of those in the agricultural industry feel comfortable telling employers they need time off, but 79% do at least feel that their workplace is compassionate overall.
Surprisingly, the next worst UK industry for compassionate leave is tourism, again offering just two days. Interestingly, however, 90% of the people we surveyed feel supported by their employer, with 89% feeling their workplace is compassionate and 70% feeling comfortable telling their employer that they need time off.
Other bad UK industries for compassionate leave include the creative arts, retail, and finance. While all of these industries offer three days as standard, large portions of those we spoke to feel uncomfortable asking for time off from their employers, with those in the creative arts finding it particularly difficult – only 38.1% feeling comfortable asking for time off.
How do UK industries view compassionate leave overall?
Even though there’s a clear variation in the length of compassionate leave offered by different UK industries, feedback from our survey shows that compassion is generally at the forefront of everyone’s minds regardless of where you work.
A full 79% of those we asked feel supported by their employer, with a further 78.7% saying that their employer is usually flexible in ensuring that they have suitable time off when needed. Additionally, a further 78.5% say that their colleagues have always been understanding and supportive.
Interestingly, however, just 27.3% of those surveyed are unaware of what their workplace compassionate leave policy is, and 46.6% still wouldn’t feel comfortable telling their employer that they need time off even if they did.
In general, though, it seems we’re pretty accommodating in the UK, with 80% of Brits feeling their workplace is compassionate, 70% feeling open to talking about personal matters with their manager, and 80% saying that their workplace policies provide all the guidance they need to support someone with a serious illness or who is grieving at work.
Some accidents in life are unavoidable. But if you’ve been the victim of an accident at work due to someone else’s negligence, then you could be entitled to compensation.