Sample letter announcing death of a work colleague

Sample letter announcing the death of a work colleague

letter announcing death of a work colleagueIt’s a very sad time at work when a colleague dies, whether it has been expected or whether it’s been sudden.

Communicating the death of a work colleague to employees is a sensitive and important task. The management should always take a lead and write a letter or email announce the death to all staff as soon as possible and while it may be a difficult and emotional subject to address, there are several reasons why it’s crucial to inform employees about the passing of a colleague:

  1. Transparency and Open Communication: Keeping employees informed about significant events within the workplace fosters a culture of transparency and open communication. It demonstrates that the organization values honesty and integrity in sharing both positive and negative news.
  2. Employee Well-being: Learning about the death of a colleague can be a shock to employees, and it may affect their emotional well-being. By addressing the situation openly, you acknowledge the impact it may have on the team and provide an opportunity for them to grieve collectively.
  3. Support and Compassion: Informing employees about the death of a colleague allows you to express condolences, empathy, and support. This acknowledgment from the organization helps employees feel valued and cared for during a difficult time.
  4. Preventing Rumors and Speculation: Without official communication, employees may hear about the death through unofficial channels, leading to rumors and speculation. By addressing the situation directly, you can control the narrative and provide accurate information.
  5. Maintaining a Supportive Workplace Culture: Sharing news of a colleague’s passing enables the organization to come together as a supportive community. This can foster a sense of unity and solidarity among team members, reinforcing the idea that the workplace cares about its employees beyond their professional contributions.

When writing a letter to employees about the death of a work colleague, it’s essential to approach the communication with sensitivity and empathy. Provide the necessary details, express condolences, offer support resources, and encourage open communication within the team. Additionally, consider involving human resources or employee assistance programs to provide additional support to grieving employees.

You might also like sample condolence letters after the death of an employee

Letter or email announcing death of a work colleague – sample 1

Dear colleague(s)

It is with great sadness that I write to advise you of the death of our much loved and admired friend and colleague [Name].  [He/she] died [time/day/date if known].

Include the following paragraph if appropriate only.

As you may know, [first/known name] has been ill for some time and has been battling his/her illness [or condition as appropriate if known] but has finally lost the battle and passed away peacefully [in hospital/at home].  His/her close family were at his/her side .

I am/We are not aware of the funeral arrangements at this time but will pass these onto you as they become known.

I am sure that you would like to join me in offering our deepest condolences to [first/known name’s] family and loved ones at this difficult and sad time.


Letter or email announcing death of a work colleague – sample 2

Dear Colleagues

Today I received the sad news that [name] died suddenly last night. We are shocked to have received such terrible news and are sure you, his friends and colleagues will be too.

We have arranged for those closest to him at work to have a session with our HR counsellor if needed.

We are sure you would all like to join us in sending our condolences to his/her family and as such a card will be available in [reception / other location] for everyone to sign and there will also be a collection for flowers.

If we hear any more news we will be sure to pass it on.

Letter or email announcing death of a work colleague – sample 3

Dear Colleagues,

As you will probably have heard, our colleague and friend [name] sadly passed away [details].

We have heard from their family that the funeral is to take place [details] and all work colleagues are welcome to attend.

Choose one of the following paragraphs

1. As the funeral is to take place during working hours we must ask that only his/her closest friends attend along with a representative from the management team.

2. As the funeral is taking place outside of working hours we would encourage as many colleagues to attend as possible to show our support for [name’s] family.

The family have asked for donations to [charity] rather than flowers so we will be making a collection at work and [employee’s name] will give this to the family at the funeral.

[Name] will be remembered as a kind, caring, thoughtful and hard working member of our workforce and they will be very much missed by us all.

Best Wishes,


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I’m Sue and I’ve written all the letters on this website. I hope you’ll find them useful.

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