What is “Pawternity” Leave?
21 May 2019 by Sarah Shea
Recently more businesses are starting to see the benefit in offering Pawternity leave. Pawternity leave is classified as paid time off to help a new pet adjust to life in their new home.
It’s often a stressful period for a pet owner when a puppy or kitten arrive home for the first time.
Employees see much benefit in having time to help their new addition settle into their new environment. Being able to bond with a new pet is essential before leaving them alone to go to work.
Around half of UK households own a pet, according to the RSPCA. So why is there not a specific legal right to time off for animal-related issues some have asked.
Currently there is no statutory entitlement to paid leave to care for pets. Participating companies identify with providing paid leave to employees to care for their new pets as a way of enhancing morale within the workforce; which, it is intended, should increase productivity.
Companies such as Mars Petcare and BrewDog have started to offer Pawternity leave to employees because they highly regard keeping employees happy and to boost morale.
There are 10 types of statutory leave employers do have to offer employees in the UK at present:
- Sickness absence;
- Annual leave;
- Maternity leave;
- Paternity leave;
- Adoption leave;
- Shared parental leave;
- Parental leave;
- Time off for dependants;
- Time off for public duties; and
- Time off for antenatal appointments.
Some companies have also now started to provide time off to deal with a pet bereavement as they notice that a pet is a treasured member of the family.
It’s great that companies are considering the needs of employees. Pawternity leave is, however, unlikely to become a statutory right but it is certainly proving to be a valued perk for some!