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Loss and grief in the workplace What can we learn from the literature?

Loss and grief in the workplace What can we learn from the literature? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine how Australian workplaces, their managers and employees respond to those who are grieving at work, as a result of chronic or terminal illness, or caring for those with chronic or terminal illness. The review draws on Australian and relevant international literature and seeks to answer this question. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was undertaken in preparation for an Australian study examining workplace supports for people who are grieving – because they are carers, have experienced a death, or are balancing their own illness with their work. Using a range of search terms, the literature was searched for relevant work between 1980 and 2010. The search found examples of workplace supports throughout the world and some developing Australian literature. Findings – Despite illness and death occurring at any stage of a person's life, there is little research that identifies workplace issues associated with grief and loss. And while workplace legislation allows for minimal supports, there was evidence that some workplaces have begun to offer flexibility for work life balance. Practical implications – Effective workplace supports will involve individual and workplace responses, but also require legislative approaches in order to effect broad‐based system change. Originality/value – The paper compares Australian and international literature about workplace supports and provides an overview of the issues arising. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Workplace Health Management Emerald Publishing

Loss and grief in the workplace What can we learn from the literature?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-8351
DOI
10.1108/17538351011055023
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine how Australian workplaces, their managers and employees respond to those who are grieving at work, as a result of chronic or terminal illness, or caring for those with chronic or terminal illness. The review draws on Australian and relevant international literature and seeks to answer this question. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was undertaken in preparation for an Australian study examining workplace supports for people who are grieving – because they are carers, have experienced a death, or are balancing their own illness with their work. Using a range of search terms, the literature was searched for relevant work between 1980 and 2010. The search found examples of workplace supports throughout the world and some developing Australian literature. Findings – Despite illness and death occurring at any stage of a person's life, there is little research that identifies workplace issues associated with grief and loss. And while workplace legislation allows for minimal supports, there was evidence that some workplaces have begun to offer flexibility for work life balance. Practical implications – Effective workplace supports will involve individual and workplace responses, but also require legislative approaches in order to effect broad‐based system change. Originality/value – The paper compares Australian and international literature about workplace supports and provides an overview of the issues arising.

Journal

International Journal of Workplace Health ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 29, 2010

Keywords: Death; Workplace; Business policy; Quality of life; Interpersonal relations; Australia

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