Anna Gragert
May 05, 2016 2:53 pm
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If you have a pet, then you know how hard it can be to leave them behind when you have to go to work. After all, kibble doesn’t grow on trees. Someone has to work for it and, luckily, a few companies in the United Kingdom can sympathize. That’s why “paw-ternity” leave now exists for some.

For several hours or even several months – depending on the company and situation, of course – pet parents can take time off to care for their furry friends. One such business offering this is BitSol Solutions, a tech support company run by Greg Buchanan (a man who’s become known as a paw-ternity activist). Here, employees are allowed to take one week of paid leave in the name of pet parenthood.

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When Buchanan first adopted his second dog, he realized just how important this bonding time between pet and parent can be. “We got a puppy from a rescue home and we realized it needed to be looked after properly, so I took a week off to ensure it was welcomed into the home, and to set boundaries for the dogs,” he told USA Today. “My dog is now better for it.” This then inspired Greg to offer his employees the same opportunity.

In light of the fact that about 60% of people in the United Kingdom own a pet, we can imagine many people benefitting from this type of time off. Yet, it is important to note that not all pet parents are able to take advantage of this situation at Greg’s company (and, presumably, many others). “Obviously, we take it on a case-by-case decision,” states Buchanan. “If somebody’s asking for time off for a goldfish, no, no. That’s not quite what we set out for.” 

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Though goldfish parents may not be happy about this, we have a feeling that many workers are rejoicing right now. As for us, we’re hoping that paw-ternity leave spreads across the globe because being a pet parent is hard work, too.

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