Article: Paw-ternity leave- the next trend in employee benefit?

Employee Engagement

Paw-ternity leave- the next trend in employee benefit?

Can pet-friendly policies influence your employees' engagement? Read on to know more.
Paw-ternity leave- the next trend in employee benefit?

Amidst the setup where corporates who still balk at giving paternity leaves, a handful of companies are offering pet pet-paternal leaves.

As unusual as it sounds, CollarFolk, a startup that curates pet-friendly holidays, has decided to give ten days’ leave to its employees when they adopt a pet. Rukmani Vaish, Founding Partner at CollarFolk, shared in media saying, “ It’s only fair to give our employees time to welcome home their furry one and figure things like vet visits, tonics, and day care if needed,” said Rukmini Vaish, founding partner at CollarFolk. 

Pet-friendly workplaces like Google, Amazon, are becoming increasingly common. In India, a lot of new-age startups are embracing pet-friendly outlook. Rajeshwari Ramachandran, a canine behaviorist and the founder of the Human Dog Interaction Project shares, “Having pets at work is especially popular with Millennials and thus offering a pet-friendly workplace can provide engagement to this generation at work.”

She also shares, “Bringing the pet to work means employees are not worried about their pets at home alone all day. This will surely help in building a more inclusive environment and getting sensitized to employees’ needs.”

Rekha Nair, HR Business Partner at Brillio, on pet paternity leave, says “Any policy which helps to ease the lives of people will surely have a direct impact on engagement. This will increase the happiness index of individuals as they will get a specific time to invest in taking care of their newly adopted pets.” 

Brillio has implemented programs like “Corporate De-stress Program with Canines” which was a part of employee wellness initiative. Dogs were brought inside the office space floor & employees were free to play and engage with them. The activities included petting and interacting with the volunteer dogs (trained and certified by canine behaviorist). The other program was an outbound training workshop which involved activities with dogs which helped in lessons on team building & team work. The group activities with dogs assisted in understanding the importance of trust & collaboration at the workplace.

Rekha shares, “In India pet owners are increasing every day & pet paternity leave will be encouraging. However, this is still in its nascent stages & every organization should evaluate themselves to understand whether it fits into the culture of their firm. Before implementing anything like this, organizations should do an internal study of their employees who own pets. Involving Brillians (Brillio employees) in decision making, on things that directly impact them, is the fabric of our culture. So if at all we plan to introduce this in Brillio – we will sound this off with our people first.”

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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