Should pet parents be entitled to ‘pawternity leave’ when getting a new puppy?

19 October 2021, 10:34 | Updated: 19 October 2021, 16:01

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

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A boss has suggested employees should get 'pawternity' leave to bond with new puppies.

A boss has sparked debate after asking whether pet owners should be offered paid leave to look after their new dogs.

Roger Wade, who founded the outdoor events space Boxpark, took to LinkedIn to ask his follower’s opinions after a member of staff asked for “pawternity leave”.

Unsurprisingly, the post received more than 2,000 comments from people with very differing opinions on the matter.

A boss has asked whether pet owners should be offered paid leave
A boss has asked whether pet owners should be offered paid leave. Picture: Alamy

The poll attached - which had more than 34,000 responses - found 61% of people were against the idea of time off to look after a dog, while 39% were in favour.

One person replied: “It’s not your employer’s issue or responsibility. If you feel that burning desire to get a dog, change your circumstances to allow it.

“I’m 43 and have only just got a dog because my work/life balance allowed it. I’ve wanted one since I started work.”

Another said: “It’s hard enough at times with people on annual leave and/or maternity or paternity leave - all perfectly acceptable.

Should you be allowed to take time off to look after a pet?
Should you be allowed to take time off to look after a pet? Picture: Alamy

“Trying to fill gaps puts pressure on other colleagues and the business in general. If you’re getting a pet - it’s a lifestyle choice.”

However, some people think that the boss is right to let his employee take a few weeks off to look after his dog.

A third added: “Come on people. In today’s harsh, negative and work heavy world surely we can put more value to people's lives by considering these relatively small requests.”

Some bosses are allowing people to take time off for new puppies
Some bosses are allowing people to take time off for new puppies. Picture: Alamy

While a fourth said: “Some people are not fortunate enough to be able to have children and having a dog is their fur baby and new addition to the family.”

And another agreed: “I agree, I like the idea of special event leave.”

While companies don’t have to let you take time off to look after your pets by law, some are starting to.

In 2017, pub chain Brewdog introduced one week’s parental leave for all of its employees to take when they get a new puppy.