Death of a staff member: procedure

When a staff member dies, a number of actions will need to be carried out in a short period of time. Time constraints and emotions can have an impact on such a situation; use this manual if it involves a staff member of Radboud Services to ensure that nothing is forgotten. 



  1. Supervisor’s actions

    • Notify immediate colleagues, and if possible, do this in person. Also think about absent colleagues (who are not at work due to holidays, illness, etc.).
    • Notify the Divisional Director.
    • Designate a contact person who can take charge of the situation or fulfil this role yourself.
    • Check with immediate colleagues about who needs to be notified (think about contacts both within and outside the university). Agree on who will do this.
    • Notify immediate colleagues as soon as possible of the place, date and time of the funeral service (if immediate colleagues are welcome to attend).
    • Write the obituary together with the immediate colleagues; the obituary will be posted on Radboudnet, and will be included in the Radboud news overview and the Radboud newsletter (this will possibly be done in collaboration with the Communications Division).
    • Work with the immediate colleagues to compose the text for the memorial advertisement.
    • The place, date and time of the funeral service should also be included in the text for Radboudnet (but only if all colleagues are welcome to attend).
    • If applicable, arrange for a speech to be given by the person who has been nominated by the relatives.
    • Arrange a gathering that gives colleagues the opportunity to come together.
  2. Contact person’s actions (= supervisor or a colleague who will act on behalf of the supervisor)

    • Notify the (Human Resources) HR advisor or their replacement and provide your name, telephone number and email address. The HR advisor will notify the HR officer or their substitute so that they can settle any HR matters. The HR advisor will also notify Salary Administration so that the finances can be settled.
    • Call the family and, if requested, pay them a visit. Discuss the following matters with the family:
      • Do they require help from such staff members as the occupational social worker or the occupational health physician?
      • Would they appreciate it if a memorial advertisement was placed? If so, in which newspaper(s) would they like the advertisement to be placed? Radboud Services will honour the family’s wishes. The advertisement will be placed in the newspaper under those that have been placed by family/friends etc.
      • Would the family appreciate flowers?
      • Would they like someone from work to hold a speech during the funeral service? If so, who do they have in mind?
      • Have the date and location of the funeral service already been disclosed? If not, request that this be done via telephone or email (and don’t forget to provide the family with a telephone number and email address).
      • Would the family appreciate flags being flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral? (This won’t be done if the funeral is on a Saturday).
      • Let the family know that the HR advisor will be in touch several days after the funeral about formal matters that need to be settled (pension claim, death benefits, etc.).
    • Pass on the following information to the Divisional Director:
      • Whether the family would like flowers.
      • Whether an advertisement may be placed.
      • Whether the flags may be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral service.
  3. Divisional Director’s actions

    • Notify the General Manager and the other directors from Radboud Services.
    • Notify the Executive Board and the Strategic Relations Advisor. The Strategic Relations Advisor is the accounts manager from the Executive Board and is responsible for such matters as the Executive Board’s letter of condolence to the family.
    • Arrange the floral funeral tribute (if the family has no objection). The amount that may be spent is €75.00 + the cost of a ribbon.
    • Organise the letter of condolence from Radboud Services management (agree on the quantity of letters and flowers that will be sent from organisation. Where appropriate, make this decision together).
    • Maintain contact with the supervisor’s contact and the HR advisor and help them if need be.
    • Arrange for the memorial advertisement from Radboud Services management to be placed. The contact person is the Administrative Secretary, tel. +31 24 361 55 00.
    • Make sure that the flags are flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral (if the family has obliged). The contact person is the Administrative Secretary, tel. +31 24 361 55 00.
  4. Supervisor’s and/or contact’s actions (to be carried out some time after the funeral)

    • Make sure that the family receives a copy of the memorial advertisement.
    • Ask two colleagues to work together to clear out the deceased staff member’s workspace and collect their personal belongings.
    • Bring the personal belongings to the family, or arrange for this to be done.
    • Make sure that the various automated files are updated, such as BASS/HRM, Bass Finlog, RMS, the system from which general emails and other emails are sent, etc. This can be arranged with the relevant HR officer, Salary Administration and Functional Management.
    • Make sure that the deceased staff member’s email account is closed down.
    • Don’t forget about the annual memorial service that is held in the University Chaplaincy; the contact person is the Administrative Secretary, tel. +31 24 361 55 00.