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Aussie workplace offers paid parental leave for pets

Would you like this policy? Image: Getty
Would you like this policy? Image: Getty

Brisbane brewery BrewDog will offer staff paid maternity and paternity leave for employees with a new pet, as an extension of its international policy.

The Scottish company, which own the brewery in Brisbane, said the “pawternity leave” was a benefit offered to employees worldwide.

Basically it's an extra paid week of leave that you're able to take when you adopt a puppy or get a new puppy in the house,” spokesperson Calvin McDonald told the ABC.

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The policy is detailed on the company’s staff benefits page, noting that a new pet is a “big commitment”.

“Gaining trust, housetraining and working out routines take time so we have decided to make things easy by offering Puppy Leave. It’s like parental leave, but with more throwing of sticks.”

The policy can be used once during an employee’s career at BrewDog.

Pet leave increasing in popularity

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, pet-owners aren’t eligible for personal carer’s leave or compassionate leave, as they’re not considered a member of the family or household.

However, BrewDog is far from the only company offering pet-friendly policies.

Melbourne company Verso Learning offers pet-owners up to five days leave if their pet is sick or needing care, in addition to two days off when they get a new pet.

According to the executive director at Human Animal Bond Research Institute, Steven Feldman, pet-friendly policies are a trend with two aims: to appeal to younger workers, and to support workers in a deeper way.

"Over the last five years we've seen this [trend] increase," he told the Society for Human Resource Management.

"Millennials are getting pets as their 'starter kits.' A lot of Millennials, before they have children, often end up with feline or canine children as a way to start [parenting]."

And these workers are seeking greater recognition of the large role pets play in their lives.

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