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Understanding Bereavement Support for Staff in an Irish Higher Education Institute. How Are Staff Members Supported When They Experience Bereavement

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posted on 13.12.2021, 15:58 authored by Eric ClarkeEric Clarke
Title: Understanding bereavement support for staff in an Irish Higher Education Institute. How are staff members supported when they experience bereavement?
Background: While employers in Ireland typically grant some time off after the death of a loved one, there is no statutory entitlement to do so. As a result workplace policies may vary with limited discretionary leave available. Returning to work after bereavement may also be interpreted as a resumption of normal service where life and work goes on despite recent events.
Problem Description: There is a lack of understanding about how staff are supported after a bereavement. The lived experiences of bereaved staff has not been scrutinised and there is no current standalone bereavement policy either nationally or institutionally.
Methods and Process Methods: as described here include the planned framework and the shift in methodological emphasis brought about by covid-19 restrictions. Action Research was used to explore the issue of bereavement at work and to engage with stakeholders within the institution. Bereaved staff, managers and senior policy makers were identified as key cohorts in the project. Data collection using qualitative semi structured face-to-face interviews and focus groups were planned. Research ethics approval to conduct the study was obtained.
Results: Informal discussions were held and successful engagement with project stakeholders was established.
Conclusions: Action Research focuses on real world problems and takes place in real time. Recent global events have affected this project and the overall plan has changed. However, the project is sufficiently well developed so that it can be recommenced when appropriate.

History

First Supervisor

Dr. Una Molloy

Comments

A thesis submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Loss & Bereavement, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2020

Published Citation

Clarke E, Understanding Bereavement Support for Staff in an Irish Higher Education Institute. How Are Staff Members Supported When They Experience Bereavement [MSc Thesis] Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2020

Degree Name

MSc Loss and Bereavement

Date of award

01/09/2021

Programme

  • MSc Loss and Bereavement