Pawternity Leave – What’s It All About?

Human Resources 30th August 2017

About 50% of us own a pet, and whilst there is no legal right for an employee to take time off to work to look after an ill animal, or to help settle in a new puppy ‘Pawternity’ leave is becoming hot news.

Non-pet lovers may feel that it’s all a bit over the top and may even go as far as thinking it’s ridiculous.  However, it’s worth business owners giving some thought to whether this is something they would be prepared to introduce in their business.

Animals are a huge part of the family for many people and coping with a poorly pet or even worse the death of a pet can be devastating.  How productive and engaged could you really expect an employee to be when faced with this? 

Similarly, many employers allow furry friends in the workplace. Guide dogs can easily be classed as a reasonable adjustment for employees with certain disabilities, but plenty of businesses have an open-door policy when it comes to pets.

Clearly there are practical considerations that need to be thought through first – what about allergies or phobias? And nobody wants unruly pets racing around the office.  Ultimately everyone needs to know what’s expected of their animals if they want to bring them into the workplace and be responsible for them or it could easily turn into a scene from Hotel for Dogs! 

As we’ve said, there is no legislation covering pets in the workplace, so it largely comes down to discretion.   If you haven’t already been asked the question, it probably won’t be long before someone puts up their hand so it could be worth thinking about what your position would be.

How would you feel about offering your staff Pawternity Leave? And what would be your stance of allowing furry friends in the office? 

If you’d like to have an informal discussion about introducing new policies into your workplace, please get in touch by completing the Contact Form or calling us on 01604 763494 to arrange your no-obligation discussion.

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