Whether you're a dog or cat lover or prefer animals
of the smaller variety, there seems to be good news on the horizon.
The advent of Paw-ternity Leave could give you paid time off to
care for your furry friends over and above your normal annual
Employers are increasingly looking for ways to offer their
workforces more flexibility and this seems to be the latest and
fastest growing measure. According to a recent survey by Petplan, a
pet insurance provider, almost 1 in 20 new pet owners in the UK
have been offered time off to care for their new pets.
The leave offered ranges from company to company, from a few
hours to attend training lessons or vet appointments to several
weeks of paid leave to settle in new pets.
It seems that paw-ternity leave is not the only pet-related
benefit being offered to workers. Some companies have adopted a
'pets welcome' policy so that owners can bring their cats
and dogs into work with them each day. Interestingly it seems that
rather than acting as a disruption, having animals in the office in
fact increases productivity and helps reduce levels of stress.
Other benefits provided by companies include pet bereavement leave
and payments for pet-sitting if workers are required to work
outside normal working hours and/or travel on business.
Though animal-related companies are the most forward thinking in
terms of the policies offered and have the highest uptake of these
benefits, they are not the only sector to embrace the phenomenon.
The latest company to establish a paw-ternity leave policy is the
southern hemisphere bank ANZ, who has granted this type of leave to
three employees so far.
Will the introduction of pet-friendly policies continue to rise?
Previous surveys from the Blue Cross charity have shown that more
than 4 in 10 pet owners have called in sick for pet-related
reasons, with nearly half of those taking time off due to the death
of a pet. As such, with 60% of the UK's population being a pet
owner, perhaps these new policies are the purrfectway (sorry, we
couldn't resist) of providing flexibility to workers as well as
dealing with pet-related absences.
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about your specific circumstances.
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