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Should companies offer ‘Pawternity’ leave?

Having time off work when you have a baby is a given – but should you be offered a break when you get a new pet, too?

Two companies in the UK currently already offer a week off for employees who get a new cat or dog and there are now calls for it be more widespread.

BrewDog, which has a bar in Bristol, is launching the new Puppy Parental Leave programme to give employees time to bond with their new pet.

Workers will have a little extra time to spend with their new furry friend – whether they are welcoming a new puppy or taking in an older rescue dog. The brewery is a dog-friendly workplace, with around 50 office dogs, and it has already had inquiries from staff about the scheme.

Another non-pet-themed company with a pawternity leave policy is BitSol Solutions, a tech support company run by Greg Buchanan.

Greg gives employees one full paid week off when they adopt a new pet. It is offered on a case-by-case basis, though, so people can’t just go and buy a goldfish when they fancy some time out of the office.

‘Pets are like babies nowadays,’ he says. ‘So why shouldn’t staff have some time off when they arrive?’

New research by PetPlan says that one in twenty new pet owners in the UK has been offered time off to take care of a new pet, whether it’s a few days to help a puppy get settled in, or several weeks of paid time away.

What are your views? Do you think employees should be given paid time off to settle in a new puppy or kitten? Have you ever been offered ‘Pawternity’ leave? Where do you think the line should be drawn?

Should companies offer 'Pawturnity' leave?

72 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - what a great idea No - it's ridiculous

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Yodama
3 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
Pawturnity is ridiculous, if you don't have the proper conditions to keep an animal, don't have one.
I have a neighbour whose dog is alone all day every day through the week, sad and lonely little animal, just there to pet on evenings and weekends.

I made the most delicious chocolate cake, I am terrified if I leave it alone someone might eat it, or it will go stale if left unattended.
It needs my attention for diligent munching.
I demand Choccaturnity. Hmmm! how many days should I take off?
How big is the cake?
Jax118
5 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
My partner and I are cat lovers and have always arranged to take holiday once we've picked them up from the rescue centre but I'm not against the idea of companies providing 'maternity/paternity' leave if they're happy to do so. Animals are like children and need reassurance and I certainly wouldn't get a cat, dump it in my house and then leave it on its own the next day. Particularly in the case of rescued animals, they've probably already had a traumatic life and it takes time to earn their trust so a week or two of bonding is essential.
Munsterlander
15th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
People should take a lot more care of their pets as can be seen from my profile I am a dog lover. Only take a dog on if you have time and love for them. Too many people take them on flippantly.
jeanmark
15th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Having been a clinical manager for a number of years it was hard enough trying to cope with maternity leave. I'm not sure a critical ill patient would have felt better if I had said there was no one to care for them "this shift" as they were either on maternity, paternity or 'pawternity' leave after all I never had extra funding to employ anyone to take their place and that's without anyone staff being off sick!

Having said that, many years ago I had to let a staff nurse take compassionate leave when her rabbit died because she was so distressed.
BirdofParadise
14th Mar 2017
0
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If you are at work you most definitely should not have a dog. I have to live with a barking dog who is shut in all day while it's owner is at work. That is mental cruelty. Why have a dog if you are not there for it. Even when the owner is home he hardly ever takes it out for exercise. He prefers to roll a ball across the lounge floor. This is a border collie, a working dog used to the outdoors. Why should I have the stress of having no peace in my own home.
sheco2437
14th Mar 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Those who want pets should be aware of their needs. Who is to take on the work that "Pawternity" people cannot do due to their absence. Animals are delightful but please don,t equate their requirements with those of human babies.
Lionel
13th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I've lived with dogs all my sixty six years, fifty of them with Collies, some of whom I've worked as sheep dogs and some as house dogs.

On this one I go with Marley, a week to bond with a pet? Rubbish. Collies require four years before they come into their maturity. If a mature adult isn't available to be with your dog whilst it's growing up, that's full time, then don't have one. They're not toys, they're sentient beings.

I've always put myself in my dog's shoes - what would I want from me if I were a dog? I can tell you, an honest answer softens the heart quite quickly.

Time off work? Is this a parallel universe?

Don't have pets if you can't be with them most of the time. I say again, they're not toys.
Pam1960
13th Mar 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Everyone is allowed compassionate leave for family/home emergencies illnesses. This should be extended to cover pet health. However I don't agree that time off should be paid when having a new pet that should come out of holidays.
ecarg
13th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Many people can not get compassionate leave to deal with human emergencies within their families and have to resort to using their holiday allowance ,so I suggest they do likewise when getting a new pet,and has been said who looks after it on week two onwards.
Jo Kingham
13th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
JohnHerb
13th Mar 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
When I worked you were afraid to even take a day off if you were ill. Time off for a new pet? I think the bosses will not be happy. The country has finally gone doolally.
Baxi
13th Mar 2017
4
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Of course everyone would love to have time off if you have a new, young pet, but the bottom line is, how can employers fund this? Maternity and paternity leave can already be crippling for small companies.

I think a better option, and something which is beneficial for all employees, would be to allow pets at the office. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that having pets at work creates a much happier atmosphere and everyone is more productive.

A win win for everyone!
jeanmark
15th Mar 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I understand your sentiment Baxi, but 'm not sure what people would think if a nurse brought his/her dog into ITU?
Pete H
13th Mar 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
Ridiculous idea - if you need time off use your holiday allowance. Small businesses have a hard enough time keeping up with the red tape and new regulations without this as well!!
Wilf
13th Mar 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Well they do say Dogs are mans (& womans!) best friends so yes I think its a great idea to bond with your new furry friend. Speaking as someone who has worked for about 50 years we spend far too much time working as humans and not enough leisure time. One week out of a whole year will hurt nobody. Will employers complain? Yes maybe but then maybe its time for a pets creche? Its a strange new world we are all entering. After all in 50 years time most jobs today will be done by robots and we will all have much more time to spend with our pets. Sounds good to this worker ant!
Marley444
13th Mar 2017
6
Thanks for voting!
If you work full time and need to take a week off when you get a new pet should you really be getting one? What happens after the first week? Not sure about this???

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