Finally, our world is getting more and more pet-friendly and aware of our pets’ emotional and social needs. The first huge step in creating a more pet-savvy world was introducing pet-friendly offices, but today, some companies are also offering something called ‘Pawternity’ leave to the new pet parents employees. In some countries like U.K. only a 5% of pet owners are offered several days off when they adopt a new pet or when their pet is suffering from an illness. Although this is still a very low percentage in order for the Pawternity leave being called a real trend in the business world, this is a good sign that more and more employers are taking into consideration what our furry family members need.
Besides this wonderful idea, some employers also offer pet insurance or pet bereavement leave. However, the companies and corporations that actually offer these benefits are still very rare and are very hard to find out of some European countries. We’d be happy to know the “pawternity” trend would spread quickly to a lot of companies in the U.S. and everywhere across the world, as this terrific idea will surely make millions of dogs wiggle their tails out of joy!
What is Pawternity Leave?
Pawternity Leave is just what it sounds like to be – a paid leave you take once you become a “pet parent”. All pets need some time to get used to their new environment and their new owners. Often, the period of adaptation can be quite stressful for a puppy or a kitten, which can potentially lead to a weaker immune system and result in some illnesses too. Luckily, companies are know realizing that these small creatures need protection and affection as much as babies when they are born.
Pawternity leave is imagined as a leave that consists of several days that one can take when getting a new puppy. In some cases, a company might also approve a week of remote work for all employees that have just adopted a new pet.
There are other pet-related leaves such as sick leave for a pet, as well as a bereavement leave when a pet passes away. Both of these, however, are very rare and might be quite difficult to obtain.
Companies Offering Pawternity Leave
There are only a few companies in the U.S. that are officially offering Pawternity (or Furternity) leave to employees that are becoming new pet parents.
Marketing agency Nina Hale from Minneapolis has decided to make Pawternity their company’s employee policy since their senior account manager asked for a week of remote work in order to spend time with his new puppy. When his request got approved, the agency decided to make it one of the multiple benefits employees have.
A company headquartered in New York City called mParticle offers two weeks of paid time off for all employees that adopt a rescue dog. That’s quite a great way of promoting dog adoption! Well done!
Mars Petcare (The company that owns Whiskers, Pedigree and Royal Canin) offers a slightly shorter Pawternity leave. It consists of 10 hours off work that you can use to spend with your new pup, after which you are welcome to bring your new pet to work.
Outside of the U.S., the situation is slightly different. U.K. and Nordic countries were found to be most pet-savvy. As we previously mentioned, up to 5 percent of companies in the U.K. offer a paid leave when you get a new pet.
One of the most enticing modern companies that really pays attention to their workers’ needs is a Scottish Brewery called the BrewDog. They are pet-friendly brewery that offers a week of Pawternity leave for all staff members getting or adopting a new pet.
A lot of companies and corporations in the pet industry are also offering pet friendly offices and paid leaves when getting a new pet.
The point is, however impossible it might seem to you, there are still chances you can change something in your work environment and potentially initiate a change that will bring good to all current and future employees as well as to their furry companions. If you’re planning to get a new pet soon, ask your boss for a paid leave or to work remotely for that week, and see if there’s enough space to negotiate a new policy that will take care of our pets’ well-being.
Talk To Your Boss/Start A Change
Apart from the obvious, humane reason behind Pawternity policy, there are also other business-related reasons that might make your boss reconsider your request for embracing the Pawternity trend.
Point out these benefits while talking to your boss, and let us know if you managed to get a Pawternity leave for yourself, or for your entire team. We would be more than glad to include more companies in this article!
So, what are the benefits of offering a Pawternity paid leave to employees?
1. Rested Employees
First days with a new pet can often get quite exhausting. A lot of new pet parents claim that they have experienced sleepless night when taking a new pet, the same way new parents don’t get enough sleep because of their newborn babies.
Unrested, tired employees are generally more likely to be unfocused on what they are doing which makes mistakes more possible to occur. The productivity inevitably decreases when employees are tired.
2. Building Loyalty
If an employer looks beyond his company’s obvious needs, he will start looking at his employee’s needs and wishes outside of their workplace. Improving workers’ lives outside of work has a deeper meaning than obvious improvements in the office that are aimed to increase the productivity and efficiency of work.
By offering Pawternity leave, a company sends a message that it cares about the employee’s entire family. Employees are more likely to be grateful and feel more connected to their company when it can understand their needs better.
3. Better Company
It was found that pet-friendly offices had 90 percent of employees that felt connected to their company’s mission. When you add Pawternity leave to an already pet friendly office, I suppose the number could only go up! This also positively affects the workers relationship with their boss which inevitably raises the communication level in the company and can influence the quality of work.
Also, workers that feel more connected to their company’s mission are also more likely to stay in the workplace for longer time. Introducing a pawternity leave might be a low-cost way of retaining employees too.