Do you consider your pet to be a member of the family? More than 95% of respondents to a 2015 Harris poll said they do. So it’s no surprise that the loss of Sparky can be difficult on workers.
Employers are starting to notice. CBS News reports that a “growing number of companies” are giving their workers paid time off for pet bereavement.
The Society for Human Resource Management reports that San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants offers a three-day pet bereavement leave. VMware, a software company, and Maxwell Health give employees days off to grieve pets, SHRM reports, as do some units of Mars Inc. Trupanion, a Seattle-based pet insurance agency, gives employees one paid day off.
The SHRM’s John Decoteau told CBS that paid time off to grieve the loss of a pet shows employees that their pain is validated.
“As business leaders, people who work for you, they are members of your team. You have invested heavily in them, they are people that you work with each and every day,” Decoteau said. “And when people are in pain you want to help them.” According to CBS’s report, “a 2009 study in the journal Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic found that nearly one third of all people who lose a pet experience sadness and grief for six months and beyond.”
Read Next: The 10 Richest Pets of All Time
The death of a pet doesn’t just take an emotional toll. According to data from Angie’s List, it costs an estimated $1,375 to bid your pet a proper farewell, including the cost of a burial plot, casket, and tombstone. And that doesn’t even count the monthly maintenance fees.