NZ company offers 'pawternity' leave to pet-owning employees

NZ 19/07/2018

A Kiwi business is now offering days off for people who own pets.

It's a pet-friendly policy that's been gaining traction overseas and has now reached New Zealand.  

Airsorted is offering the policy for its employees.

Flossie, the two-year-old, the Sydney Sylkie Toy Poodle has become the poster-pooch for Pawternity.

Airsorted manager Frances Mannion said it's similar to maternity or paternity leave - it's just for a dog or a cat. 

"The most important thing to us is our staff members, and the most important thing to them is their pets."

Airsorted, a company that manages Airb'nb accomodation, now offers an extra week of paid leave to anyone with a 'new arrival' of the fluffy description.

"We think it's hard to get a new animal and have to head off to work the next day so having an extra bit of time to settle in just seems like a no brainer to us," Ms Mannion says.

And it turns out that, just like with babies, the first week with their new parents is crucial for pet babies too.

The SPCA says "If they're not stressed and they're feeling comfortable and secure then they're less likely to get sick and cause you other problems."

At Airsorted, Flossie and her dog sitter David Bach are the first to benefit. 

"Getting a new dog or some other change in your life shouldn't really affect your work, you shouldn't have to be forced to take your own leave or anything," Mr Bach says. 

And the pet-friendly policy has got his pet-less colleagues wondering if they too should get a pet.

So what counts as a pet, well that comes down to your employer.