It has been reported that a growing number of businesses across the globe, including the UK, are offering employees the chance to take paid leave, dubbed ‘paw-ternity leave’ to look after their pets, or more specifically pup-ternity leave if the leave is being taken to settle a new pet into the home. One of the first companies to introduce the policy back in 2012 was Mars Petcare (the manufacturer of many leading pet foods including Whiskers and Pedigree Chum) which, under its pet-ernity policy, allows employees up to 10 hours paid leave when they buy a pet. More recently, the New Zealand Bank ANZ has introduced such a policy, assessed on a case-by-case basis and which has, according to media reports, resulted in three people having time off to look after a pet. It is believed that “…employees who took the leave were more loyal, and appreciative.” The owner of a small tech company in Manchester (and two dogs of his own) has also introduced paw-ternity leave, allowing employees up to one week’s paid leave.
Despite the growing trend across the globe, pet owners may be disappointed to hear that there are no plans to introduce statutory paw-ternity leave just yet.