Pet ownership continues to draw popularity across the globe, which led a number of companies in the United States to prioritize their employees’ relationship with the new addition to their families by offering them a “pawternity leave.”
BrewDog, a Scottish brewer shop based in US, gives its employees a week of paid time off when they adopt a dog. They are the first ever company to offer pawternity leave in 2017 and they said the leave could only be used one time.
“The regular family isn’t everyone’s thing. We have to make sure we’re nurturing people’s family, whether that’s furry families or human families,” Miranda Dietz, the company’s supply chain manager, told The Seattle Times in an interview. “This is just a really cool way to make sure we’re taking care of our people.”
The same thing goes with other companies in the US, including a Minneapolis digital marketing agency Nina Hale. CEO Donna Robinson said that they have a “fur-ternity leave” to give new pet parents a week off so they could bond and adjust well to their new pets. They had been following the policy since 2018.
“Part of embracing employee satisfaction as a business priority means recognizing important life events that happen outside of the office,” she said. “If we want to continue to set the example as a top workplace, it is crucial to offer innovative benefits that help to preserve the work-life happiness of our employee owners.”
Mars Petcare encourages their employees on the other hand, to discuss their plans for a time off when they adopt a new pet with their managers. Some other companies are also embracing animals in their office workspace, with some putting a “doggy playcare” in the building for pet-sitters.
In a 2018 study by the Human Animal Bond Research and Nationwide, a pet insurance company, found that 90% of employees in pet-friendly places feel more connected to their company’s mission and are more willing to recommend the company to others.
“Pet owners increasingly think of their pets as members of the family,” Steven Feldman, the institute’s executive director, said in the report. “When employers offer pet-friendly benefits, it sends an important signal that the company cared about every member of the family, even the ones with four legs.”
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