Companies like HarperCollins India offer paid “pawternity leave” leave when you adopt a puppy.
It’s shaping up to be a ruff day.
If your Instagram feed looks a little hairy on Friday, that’s because it’s Take Your Dog to Work Day — when workplaces are encouraged to go to the dogs. It’s a chance to workers to squeeze in some extra bonding time on-the-clock with their four-legged friends, while also raising awareness about the benefits of adopting a pup. Plus, it’s a prime opportunity to post as many dog photos as possible to social media.
For some employers, celebrating furballs is a year-round affair: Every day is “take your pet to work day” at critter-friendly companies like Google-Alphabet, Etsy and Amazon. Purina’s Pets at Work Report last summer found that one in five cat owners (19%) and dog owners (20%) bring their cat or dog to work every day in offices that welcome them. And one in three people working in non-pet-friendly workplaces wish they could bring their animal pal to work.
But animal perks are going beyond just bringing pets to work at some places. HarperCollins India announced last year it would offer “pawternity leave,” or paid time off for employees when they get a new pet. The tail-wagging perk grants five working days of paid leave for staffers who have just adopted a pet. This gives them a week to bond and to help the fur babies adjust to their new homes — which anyone who’s ever struggled with a crying puppy or kitten that pees all over the house can appreciate.
— HarperCollins India (@HarperCollinsIN) April 6, 2017
The publishing house, which is owned by Moneyish’s parent company News Corp., will also let workers bring their pets into designated animal-friendly areas in the office. It’s part of keeping workers happy and also encouraging responsible pet adoption.
“At HarperCollins we want the very best of work-life balance for our colleagues, and that includes being mindful about their family needs,” Ananth Padmanabhan, Chief Executive Officer of HCI, told HuffPost India. “Pet children need as much attention [as human children], if not more. We don’t want colleagues to worry about the number of leaves they have before deciding to start a family.”
Other companies are staying competitive by including pawternity leave into their benefit packages. Fully 5% of pet parents in the U.K. have already been offered paid leave to adjust to being pet parents, according to research from pet insurance provider Petplan. “The rise in new pet owners taking pup-ternity leave indicates that people recognize the importance of settling in new pets with the right support and care,” notes the report. “The early days of a kitten or puppy’s life are a vital part of the pet’s early development – especially for them to become a proper member of the family.”
Last February, Scottish brewery BrewDog also launched a week of pawternity leave that workers had been begging for. In fact, their Aberdeenshire headquarters boasts 50 “office dogs.” They planned to extend the same pooch perk to workers at their new brewery in Columbus, Ohio.
“These benefits are all part of us heading towards one simple aim – to be the best company to work for, ever,” the company writes on its site.
BitSol Solutions, a U.K tech company, also offers workers a full week of paid leave to baby their new pets. Company owner Greg Buchanan explained that, “Pets are like babies nowadays, so why shouldn’t staff have some time off when they arrive?”
And Mars Petcare, which makes Whiskas and Pedigree Chum animal chow, grants employees 10 hours of paid leave for their new four-legged friends. They also let owners bring their fur babies into the office.
This story was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for Take Your Dog to Work Day.
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