UK anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action (QSA) has undertaken research on how it can continue supporting financially vulnerable funeral customers, after one of its key aims—better transparency in funeral pricing—became a legal requirement for funeral directors.
The requirement for funeral directors to clearly display all of their prices in their premises and online has been in force since late 2021, through an order from the Competition and Markets Authority. Since then QSA has stopped inviting new applications to its “Fair Funerals pledge”—a voluntary commitment to price transparency which over a third of the UK funeral industry had previously signed.
QSA is reviewing what to do next, while continuing to run its “Down to Earth” UK-wide helpline for people struggling with funeral costs; it supports over 600 clients per year. As part of its review, QSA has been researching financial vulnerability among funeral customers and circumstances where someone may struggle to pay (the average cost of a funeral stood at over £4,000, or about $4,360, in 2021 according to research by SunLife). QSA received over 400 responses to its survey for recently bereaved people and funeral professionals about financial issues affecting funeral customers, and is currently analyzing the results. Around 20 percent of bereaved respondents indicated that they were not offered any information about potential financial support options in case they were struggling.
Learn more: Quaker Social Action