Death of an Employee

These instructions are for workplace staff who are notified of the death of an employee. If there has been a fatality in the workplace, follow the instructions on Emergency Information.

What to Do First

  • Attend to the needs of your staff and co-workers. Assess the need for onsite critical incident response services and make employees aware that short-term counselling is available through Morneau Shepell: 1 800 655-5004
  • Designate one person to be the main contact with the next of kin and AskMyHR. Usually this is the employee's manager or a co-worker who was close to the employee
  • Call AskMyHR to report the death. A service representative will support you and the employee's next of kin to ensure questions are answered and benefits made available as soon as possible. If you are unsure whether the employee had benefits and was enrolled in group life insurance, ask the service representative to confirm before preparing the survivor's information package (Step 5)
  • Prepare a letter of condolence to the family for the deputy minister's signature
  • Prepare the survivor's information package for delivery to the next of kin. This document contains information regarding counselling, payout of salary, benefits and life insurance

Calling the Employee's Next of Kin

If needed, coaching and counselling is available 24 hours a day to support you to deal with your grief and to be prepared to call the employee’s next of kin. Your call will be escalated to a counsellor with expertise in critical incidents.

When you speak with the next of kin, remember to

  • Offer your condolences
  • Supply your contact information
  • Offer to deliver the survivor's information package in person or electronically whenever they are ready
  • Offer to communicate to the workplace anything the family wishes to be made known, for example, funeral or memorial service details

This information is included in the survivor's information package, however, you may also want to mention the following:

  • Counselling services are available free of charge through Morneau Shepell by calling 1 800 655-5004
  • If applicable,* the beneficiary of the life insurance can request an advance of $8,000 from the proceeds to cover funeral expenses by calling AskMyHR
  • If applicable,* the beneficiary or executor will receive mail and/or be called regarding life insurance and pension benefits
  • If applicable, the employee's union or association may be able to provide emergency financial assistance to the family if needed

* Be sure the employee was eligible and enrolled before mentioning these benefits.

Delivering the Survivor's Information Package

When delivering the survivor's information package in person, include

  • The deputy minister's letter of condolence
  • A cover letter for the package, if desired

Offer to read through the information with the family member and answer any questions.