Welcoming a pet into your life is a big decision — you will have to devote yourself completely to this new responsibility. It is believed that a pet — read dogs and cats — take about a month to settle in a new home. They will not only need that time to adjust to new surroundings, you will also require that much time to train them well. Getting a pet into your life is a specially onerous decision if you are someone with a busy day job. If work keeps you away for long weeks, you must think twice before taking the decision of adopting a pet.
Until recently, adopting a pet mostly meant running between your home and office. This left pet owners exhausted and frustrated at the end of the day. However, things are changing for good now. Many companies in the United Kingdom are realizing the troubles of pet owners and introducing a clause for ‘pawternity leave’ in their company policy. What is pawternity leave?
Pawternity leave refers to leaves that an employee can take to devote time to their new pet or to take care of an ailing pet. In simpler words, it simply means that companies are now understanding that pets are like babies to some people and thus, these people rightly deserve to take some time off from work to take care of their pets. The good part is pawternity leaves are not included in general leaves — they are added extras.
The wonderful idea of pawternity leave was introduced by Greg Buchanan in 2013. Buchanan, the founder of Bistol Systems, realized the importance of taking leaves to take care of pets when his partner took nine months off from work to welcome a new pet into their home. Right after, Buchanan introduced the concept of pawternity leaves in his company and allowed new pet parents to take up to three weeks of paid leaves to welcome a new pet into their home.
Many British companies followed suit. In United Kingdom, many companies have already introduced the clause of pawternity leave in their HR policy. However, as of now, it is only some British companies that are offering these wonderful much needed leaves.
However, pet lovers say that pawternity leave will soon become a norm in most other companies as statistics speak in favour of the decision. According to recorded data, every three in four houses in the United States have a pet. Given this, it is quite likely that pet parents in United States will also soon start demanding their right to take care of their pets. Also, companies might relent as in this age of internet and global connectivity, companies are working really hard to project a good image.
Pawternity leave is a welcome idea, one that brings relief to not only pets but also pet owners themselves. It is certainly true that pets deserve as much time and attention as a new baby, if not more. Given the number of animal lovers this world has, it is only a matter of time that pawternity leave will become a norm and not a choice.