‘Pawternity’ Leave: More Companies Offer Pet Friendly Policies

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Adopting a pet is a big commitment. When it comes to bringing a new friend home, it’s important to make the transition as smooth as possible so your pet feels secure in their new environment. Setting up a routine for your new roomie is key, but it can be hard to do so if you’re at work for eight hours a day.

According to a Nationwide/HABRI survey of 2,002 full-time workers in the U.S., 90% of employees in pet-friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company's mission, engaged in their work, and are willing to recommend their organization to others. This may be a big part of why something called “pawternity” leave has taken off – a perk that allows employees to receive paid time off (PTO) so they can tend to the new animal in their lives.

The pet supply chain company Musti Group based in Norway, Sweden, and Finland wants to ensure their employees have plenty of time to tend to their new pet’s needs. How, you ask? By implementing a three-day paid pet leave plan, during which the employee can stay home and help their pet adjust to its new home, available to their 1,500 employees.

Similarly, Ollie, an all-natural dog food company, allows employees to take up to a full week of paid leave to care for their new pets. Nina Hale, a Minneapolis marketing company, is doing the same.

Nowadays, pets don’t always have to stay at home, either. More and more companies are rolling out pet-friendly policies that allow employee to bring their dogs (and sometimes other pets) to the office year-round. Even more commonly, companies are participating in Take Your Dog to Work Day in June so canines can get a taste of office life with their humans.

Millennials and Pets

According to the American Pet Products Association, millennials are the primary pet-owning generation. They are also the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. If HR professionals want to attract, engage, and retain this group, a good place to start is acknowledging the profound role pets play in their lives and offering support.

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