Feeding, bathing and housetraining a new pet can take up a lot of your time, and if you're working a full-time job, it can be difficult to give your new furry friend the attention and care they need when they first join your family. But that's where pawternity leave comes into play.
Although the term 'pawternity' has been making headlines recently, it isn't a new concept. A select handful of companies in the UK offer pawternity leave to their employees, although most do not. The leave consists of giving employees some time off to help their new pet adjust into their home and lifestyle. Sometimes, you're given time off work completely, and other times, you can opt to work from home for an extended amount of time instead.
Grazia spoke to several women to get their stance on pawternity leave. "I do think that having a pet in your life reduces stress - I've definitely noticed so anyway," said Isabelle Higgs. "I work for a medium-sized business and my employer offered paid pawternity leave for a period of one week, which was a great perk. Even though I took only five days off work, this short amount of time really helped me bond with my new kitten and get her settled in at my flat."
"Occasionally, I'm allowed to work the odd day from home too, if my (now) adult cat is unwell or requires a visit to the vets," added Isabelle. "It definitely helps having an employer who understands a pet owner's needs, and this is where modern-thinking companies excel. I think that in the future, we will see more people seeking employment take pawternity leave into consideration when taking a job, especially if they're an animal lover."
Francesca Rait runs a small business and offers pawternity leave to her employees. "I have around 15 employees and I offer a week's pawternity leave to them all. My thought process is that a happy worker is a productive one, and considering that pets help to boost moods and reduce stress, I'm all for this concept. I'm also a big pet lover myself and know how valuable having a pet in your life can be. Companies that don't offer this leave should definitely think about it - if it's valued by your current and potential employees then it will be beneficial to everyone in the long-run."
Some employers are less lenient, but still willing to reduce their employees stress levels. PR manager Kate Huttin told us that the company she works for doesn't let employees take time off work to settle in a new pet, but she's managed to bend the rules slightly.
"I want my office to be a pet-friendly environment and equally, I want my staff to be happy. So, I let members of my team bring their new pets into work until they're independent enough to be left at home alone. My staff are really grateful for this perk and it shows in their loyalty to the company and their performance at work. Plus, it's nice for all of the team to enjoy having a cute puppy in the office from time-to-time." We can certainly agree with that.
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