The guide removes the need for separate overrun fees and instead introduces a system which encourages respect for other service users and protects families’ interests.
Any funeral director not signing up to the guide would pay more for each service they book. This is to cover the cost of additional time and for staff being on hand to resolve any problems. As this cost would be charged when booking, no additional charges can be passed on to families afterwards.
The new code of conduct follows a case which made national headlines, after a family were charged £200 by the council for overrunning on the funeral ceremony by 48 seconds.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment, said: “The current additional charge to funeral directors exceeding the time booked was designed to limit disruption to services and to make sure all families were guaranteed dignity and privacy.
“Recent reports of overrun fees being passed on to grieving families without prior warning indicate that placing families’ best interests at heart is no longer being achieved in a small number of cases.”