Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), one of the largest banks in Australia ad New Zealand, recently introduced a new policy.
The bank now provides paid ‘pet leave.’
Pet owners can apply for ‘paw-ternity leave’ to take care of young or new pets, similar to how parents apply for leave to care for their children.
Leave applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and only a handful have been approved so far. Some staff have been given several weeks leave to ensure their pet is well taken care of.
“Anyone can request flexibility for any reason, including ‘paw-ternity’ leave. For our employees, flexibility is about supporting our people in delivering results in the most productive way possible, while balancing these commitments with personal priorities. Arrangements are agreed on an individual basis between an employee and their line manager.” – ANZ spokeswoman Sonia Bell.
Also known as ‘pet-ternity leave’ or ‘pup-ternity leave,’ the trend has been growing in other places around the world such as the UK.
According to Petplan, an insurance provider for pets, 5% (i.e. 1 in 20 people) of pet owners in the United Kingdom have availed of the benefit.
The trend is yet to catch on in the US though.
As per pet experts and the Psychology Today magazine:
- Pet owners have better fitness levels, sociability, happiness levels and self esteem, relative to those who do not own pets.
- It is important for pet owners to have enough free time and to be around, when they have a new pet in the house. This helps the furry friends to settle in properly, develop well and get the right kind of training from the get-go.