In larger companies, a formal bereavement policy and notification system may be part of the employee handbook. Regardless of a company's size, however, problematic situations can often be avoided by communicating a reasonable, even-handed bereavement policy. Ideally, the policy should clearly describe the company’s position with regard to personal time off, paid time off and personal leave when an immediate family member dies.

A company may also want to establish a procedure for notifying internal personnel when a company employee suffers a personal loss. A straightforward notification system can be a valuable tool for both the employer and employees. The notification policy should outline the procedures to be followed by the affected employee and his or her supervisor to notify staff about the loss, how long the employee is expected to be out, and who should be contacted in the employee's absence.