An article on the Independent.ie website details how more and more companies in England are offering paid time off to their employees who have puppies at home. This is done to allow owners to bond with their animals and to housebreak them.
Unsurprisingly, it was a company involved in pet care, Mars Petcare, that started the trend. Mars Petcare offers employees ten hours of paid time off to be with their puppies, and they also allow owners to bring their dogs into work. Other companies followed suit. Manchester-based tech company BitSol Solutions has a similar program as does brewery firm BrewDog in Scotland.
Losing a beloved pet can be devastating, and firms on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly offering paid bereavement leave to employees whose pets have recently passed away. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in San Francisco, for instance, offers three paid days off to employees to whose pets have died.
Personally, I think people having paid time off for pet-related reasons is a great thing. Increasingly, psychologists are noting the benefits of pet ownership in terms of making owners feel happier and more fulfilled, and this new trend fits right in with that. In the past, people being paid to stay home and be with their pet might seem ridiculous, but society is now recognizing that too many pet owners animals are family.
From a business perspective, the policy makes sense as well. Employees who are given paid time off for their pets will appreciate the gesture and likely work harder for their employers in the future. When people feel that their employer is concerned with their overall quality of life, they are more likely to feel part of a team and not have an “us against them” attitude towards management. As far as I’m concerned, this new practice is good for employees, employers and, of course, dogs, cats and pets of all types.