Fur children count

11 June 2018 | International

A major pet company has introduced what it calls Pawternity leave – three-day parental leave for employees getting a new puppy or kitten.

Musti Group, the largest pet supply chain in the Nordic countries, says it came up with the idea because the wellbeing of animals is a central part of its agenda. The leave came into effect at the beginning of this month.

“Expertise and interest towards animal welfare are expected from all employees,” says David Rönnberg, Musti Group's CEO. “An impressive 90% of the company's 1 500 employees have at least one furry friend at home.

“When a furry family member first enters their new home, both pet and owner have new routines to get accustomed to. For a variety of reasons, these first days are a significant phase in the growth and development of a puppy.

“Forming a coherent pack and familiarising with the new environment require spending some time together.”

Pets always come first in everything the company does – which is why Pawternity leave is a natural step in the development of its pet culture, Rönnberg adds.

“Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with their new family member and ensure they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest.”

Pawternity leave will help employees combine work and free time more seamlessly, contributing to the wellbeing of their entire family, Musti Group says.

Employers in other fields should be challenged to consider a similar leave system in their own communities, says the company's marketing director, Henri Mäkinen.

“Puppy socialisation and training can't happen during evenings or weekends alone,” he says. “A puppy might feel both insecure and lost in their new home without the presence of their mother and siblings.

“If a pet is left alone for too long they'll find all sorts of things to do – not all of them necessarily pleasant to the owner.”

NEWS24

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