The United States is the only industrialised nation that doesn’t offer paid leave for new parents. Buy hey, who needs maternity or paternity leave when you’ve got pawternity leave?
You can imagine the conversation at work, can’t you?
“Sure, take as long as you need.”
Strangely, though, this is the reality among certain Manhattan pet companies and tech start-ups, among the first to offer workers paid leave to get to know their new pooches.
Data-platform provider Mparticle is typical. Laurel Peppino, Head of Talent Acquisition, promises new-hires two weeks’ paid leave if they adopt a rescue dog.
“We offer maternity and paternity leave and a pet is just another member of the family. We don’t discriminate just because they aren’t human,” she told The Wall Street Journal.
Will you boss agree to pawternity leave? Will you boss agree to pawternity leave?
The company’s Events Marketing Director, Meredith Heller, said she took two weeks off when she adopted Bodie, a beagle mix, from a local shelter. The pair spent the time visiting a dog run and meeting other dogs out on the Brooklyn sidewalks. “It was nice to have that option to really get to know him,” she said.
Mparticle can be found in the Flatiron District in Lower Manhattan. It’s known locally as Silicon Alley because of all the tech start-ups, many of which have a similarly enlightened attitude to dog ownership.
Loftey is one such business. The rental company offers paid leave to anyone whose pet has died, and you can get time off to go to the vet’s. Co-founder Ori Goldman said, “We love our pets”. It’s a similar situation at some of the other local start-ups and creative agencies, where you can even bring your dog to work.
Confectionery company Mars has taken a lead (see what we did there?) in dog-friendly offices here in the UK. The company, which owns Whiskas and Pedigree, offers staff a week’s leave for dog-bonding and the chance to bring your dog to work.
Mars and other dog-friendly companies such as Brewdog cite scientific research that shows that having your pet in the office makes for greater productivity, lower absenteeism and social benefits for the pets.
Will pawternity leave catch on in the UK?
What do you think? If you’re an employer, would you allow your staff work with their dogs or have time off for bonding? If you’re an employee, would you want to share your desk with your pooch? Let us know how you feel about pawternity leave.