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When an employee dies

When an employee dies, this is perceived as dramatic for people who are close to the deceased. It is important that the practical conditions associated with the deceased's relationship with UiO are handled in a respectful and professional manner. The administration at the faculty/department/section should, as far as possible, try to meet the needs arising from death.

When an employee dies on the University's premises

  • The first step in such events is always to notify the University Security Operation Centre by phone 22 85 66 66.
  • Notification of relatives of the actual death is handled by the police, possibly through a priest or religious community. The deceased's name shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the police before relatives have been notified.
  • If the death can be linked to incidents at the University, a number of measures must be put in place to follow this up. This is described in more detail in UiO's emergency preparedness plan.

Contact with the family

  • The deceased’s immediate superior plays an important role in maintaining contact with the family and next of kin, but notification of relatives of the actual death is taken care of by other authorities.
  • Together with employees, the family and next of kin must be given the opportunity to visit the deceased's work place and collect personal belongings.


  • When an employee dies, it is natural that the head of the unit informs the staff about this. The need for information iis very often great, especially in the case of sudden deaths directly related to the faculty/department/section. It is easy to forget how pressing the information needs are when accidents and deaths occur. Both students and staff must be informed. They should not receive the news by means of death notices, press headlines, rumours or questions from outsiders.
  • It is also important that information about the funeral and memorial gathering ibe disseminated in time, so that those who wish to may attend.

Work responsibilities

  • A death will affect the work situation of the deceased’s colleagues. The head of the unit shall assess whether it is appropriate to cancel parts of the teaching, meetings that are scheduled or the like.
  • The consequences for projects should be considered by the deceased’s immediate superior, and collaborative partners who are involved should be contacted.

Memorial gathering and funeral

  • Consideration must be given to the deceased's beliefs or faith.
  • It may be natural to arrange a memorial gathering. If the death has taken place during vacation time, the memorial gathering might be postponed until most colleagues are back.
  • The faculty/department/section can arrange a memorial gathering if the faculty/department/section wishes to do so. The gathering should be held at a quiet location. The faculty/department/section is responsible for any refreshments.
  • Consideration should be given to wether to send a letter of condolence and/or a floral arrangement to the next of kin. The faulty/institute/section should consider sending representation to the funeral service.
  • The Management Support Unit should be contacted with respect to flying the flag at half-mast.

Practical and administrative follow-up

Stop of salary and final settlement

Web pages and contact information

  • The manager ensures that the deceased's name is removed from telephone lists and the web directory and that the deceased's voice message on the answering machine is deleted.


Advice and support

  • When an employee dies, this is perceived as dramatic for people who are close to the deceased. In such a situation, different needs will arise. The family may want to meet with the deceased's colleagues, and colleagues may feel the need to gather to share sorrow, anger, and despair. Close deaths can also trigger thoughts about past losses and own death. In such a situation, it is important to give each other support and follow-up in the workplace.
  • In the workplace, the unit itself is the closest and natural to handle the follow-up after a death.
  • It will also be the unit that coordinates UiO's overall follow-up.
  • In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek advice from other resource persons such as:
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Published Dec. 22, 2009 2:03 PM - Last modified Apr. 23, 2020 11:01 AM