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?
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