Introduction to this document

Letter advising employee has died

When an employee dies, you’ll need to notify clients, customers and other relevant third parties of their death, and you can do this using our letter. 

Clients and customers

When an employee dies, as well as notifying their work colleagues, you’ll need to inform all those current external contacts with whom the employee personally dealt, such as relevant clients and customers. As set out in our Death of Employee Policy, do take account of the wishes of the deceased’s family or next of kin here regarding how the announcement is made and what is announced, and don’t give out any information about the death that is sensitive or contrary to the family’s or next of kin’s wishes. Our Letter Advising Employee Has Died simply sets out the unfortunate fact and date of the employee’s death, with optional wording to refer to the death following a long or short illness or being due to an accident, but without going into any further detail about the surrounding circumstances. There are then two optional paragraphs here to cover work handover. One is for use where you’re still in the process of appointing a new point of contact and the other is for use where you’ve already appointed an individual to this role (even if that’s only on a temporary basis while you search for a permanent successor). Whichever paragraph you use, it will hopefully give your client or customer the reassurance they need to know you have the matter in hand. You don’t want to end up losing valuable business following the employee’s death.

Other third parties

Any external bodies that keep records of the Company’s employees, such as professional or trade bodies and training organisations, should also be notified of the employee’s death, so that further work-related post addressed to them can be stopped, so our letter has an optional paragraph covering that. Plus, if the employee was receiving payments under a permanent health insurance (PHI) scheme, those will need to cease now, so there’s an optional paragraph covering notifying the PHI provider of the employee’s death. Finally, a surviving spouse, civil partner or other dependants of the deceased employee may be entitled to receive a payment under a survivor’s pension, if the employee was a member of a pension scheme. The trustees of the pension scheme, or the pension scheme provider, will need to be informed about the employee’s death and they should then make arrangements for any payment to be made in accordance with the rules of the scheme. In the case of any separate life assurance scheme, you should also notify the scheme provider about the employee’s death so that they can arrange for any payment to be made. Our letter has an optional paragraph covering notifying a pension and/or life assurance scheme provider. Note that the provider (or trustees) should then contact the potential beneficiaries directly to make the necessary arrangements for payment and they will probably want evidence of death first.