As the nation becomes more aware of the responsibilities of pet ownership, employers are catching on and an increasing number are now offering staff special paid leave when they get a new pet.
UK pet supplies chain Pets at Home has become the latest to offer its employees this new benefit. Its new pet-ernity leave with be introduced to its 8,200 colleagues in April this year.
The new scheme will mean colleagues will be allowed one paid day off per year when they welcome a new dog, cat or horse into their family and is part of a new range of flexible benefits, called 'For all the times we share' to help colleagues balance work and home life.
Chief Executive of The Pets at Home Group, Ian Kellet, said, "We want to help and support key events in a colleague’s life. We are also launching a ‘flying the nest day’ when a child leaves home, a ‘new roost day’ when you move home and a day’s holiday on your birthday.
"We know that if you have a new dog, cat or horse it can be quite stressful and to help with the settling in process that comes with welcoming a new pet into any family, we want to grant one day’s paid holiday to help support them. It fits into our ethos – we recognise the importance of pets."
Being a pet focused brand, it's no surprise many of the employees at Pets at Home are pet owners - an estimated 95%. Some employees at the Handforth headquarters even bring their dogs along to work with more than 50 well behaved dogs present in the office at any one time. In a survey by dog food company tails.com last year, 40% of owners said bringing a dog to work made them feel less stressed and could even boost productivity.
With 'Bring Your Dog to Work Day' in June, will we see any more employers consider introducing new benefits for dog owning employees?