Some companies giving “peternity leave”

Those of you who have multiple cats are probably familiar with the routine. About an hour before their usual dinner time, they start quietly staring at you, maneuvering into your field of vision so they can take up as much of it as possible. As their patience wears thin, they get grumpy, picking small fights with each other like senior citizens late to the early-bird buffet. Finally, the food is served and all is well — they dart for the bowls with their tails held high, then hunker down for the serious business of eating.

When they’re done, there’s a brief period of torpor, when I presume digestion is hard at work. But soon, the protein kicks in and they’re literally off to the races, chasing each other up and down the hall, over the furniture, to the top of the highest-most surfaces they can reach. When the digestion is completed, they head off to the cat box, do their business, then get a fresh injection of energy for another 15 minutes or so of racing until they settle down for the night.

Wouldn’t it be cool if humans had a similar cycle, that we came out of the restroom all jacked up and ready for action? Life at the office would be so much more interesting, I think.

As you may remember if you read yesterday’s post, I’m phoning it in with the blogging this weekend. We’re having some wonderful weather here in the Southeast, and I’m not about to spend two days off of work slaving over my laptop keyboard. So instead, I’m stealing an interesting article from a major metropolitan newspaper and, as you might’ve guessed by now, the subject is pets.

This might serve as a preview for a post I hope to produce some time in the next week, introducing the digital world to my three cats – Harriet, Taylor and Tom. But more about them later. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this feature about “peternity leave”.

At the recent Westminster Kennel Club dog show, type-A dog owners showed off their pampered pooches to a panel of judges.


Some pet owners can actually get company-blessed time off for pet-related matters, in what are dubbed “peternity” leaves, according to the Sloan Work and Family Research Network blog.

Virgin Mobile in Australia recently announced that it now offers peternity leaves for employees with new puppies or kittens under 10 weeks old. Such employees, who must have worked for the company for more than two years, can get five unpaid days off. (Owners of other animals, such as birds, fish or hamsters, can’t take advantage of the policy, alas.) Several U.K. and Canadian companies, including the Bank of Scotland, also offer time off to care for new or sick pets or for pet bereavement.

The trend doesn’t seem to have caught on yet among U.S. businesses, although some companies, such as Google, do allow workers to bring pets to work. (From Google’s Dog Policy, printed in its code of conduct: “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”) Most pet owners, however, have to take personal days or lunch breaks to care for a new pet or to deal with a sick or dying animal. And, of course, being able to take any company-sanctioned leave to care for an animal is a luxury in this tough job market.


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One Response to “Some companies giving “peternity leave””

  1. planetross Says:

    It’s almost worth getting a pet!

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