Our People

Here for you during the difficult times: Bereavement leave at New York Life.

New York Life | September 2, 2022


Loss is sadly a part of life, and what follows – grief – is an important aspect of the healing process. New York Life knows this and is here to support its employees during these difficult times.

Data tells us that three to five days of bereavement leave continues to be the norm across most industries. However, at New York Life, we understand that this simply isn’t long enough. That’s why we have recently extended our bereavement policy. This means that employees can now take up to 15 days off to mourn anyone that they consider a loved one.

We’ve moved with the times

Our previous policy allowed up to five days paid time off, and this was dependent on the relationship. But we recognized that this wasn’t the right approach and sought to improve it.

Because the health and well-being of our people is of the utmost importance to us, we are also committed to supporting our employees in any way that we can, and this especially applies when people are navigating difficult times in their lives.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Suzanne Cunningham is a corporate vice president at New York Life who has taken advantage of the bereavement benefit. Here’s what she has to say:

When I moved to the United States from Ireland in 1994, my dad’s two brothers who lived here became surrogate parents to me. They helped me get my social security card and move into my first apartment and were present at many other life events through the years.

When the first of them died in 2009, the company I worked for didn’t recognize him in their bereavement policy and I had to take time off to attend his wake and funeral. It certainly added a layer of stress at an already stressful time. When my second uncle died in 2021, the idea of not being able to show up when I needed to didn’t even cross my mind. The New York Life bereavement policy allowed me to mourn his passing alongside my family without worrying about how I was going to take time off.

Even today the bereavement policy puts my mind at ease. With aging parents who live far away, it’s reassuring to know that, should anything happen to them, this bereavement policy will give me the time to deal with whatever commitments arise and that New York Life has my back.

In what other ways does New York Life provide grief support?

We are in the process of designing training for managers – as well as resources for employees – on how to support colleagues who are grieving.

We are also aware that grief strongly impacts children, and we know that there can be a gap in grief support in schools. To that end, the New York Life Foundation established the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative®, which provides resources and tools for school communities to support students and their families who have experienced a death.

At New York Life, we have a history of assisting and providing help for our employees, no matter what life throws at them. Each and every one of our employee benefits is designed to provide support in the areas our people need it most. Visit our benefits page to find out more.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937