This debate is sending some workers barking mad.
A British CEO has sparked a firestorm on LinkedIn after asking the public whether he should grant “pawternity leave” to an employee who had just purchased a puppy.
Roger Wade, the founder of events company Boxpark, posed the question on his LinkedIn page earlier this month, stating that the employee had come to him and asked for an unspecified amount of paid time off.
Wade attached a poll to his question, giving people the option to vote on his canine conundrum.
A whopping 34,000 people voted, with a majority (61%) believing that the boss should not grant leave to the owner of the new pup.
Wade was also inundated with thousands of comments beneath the LinkedIn post, with several people eluding that the employee seemed “entitled.”
“Have people lost their minds?! I feel this proposal discriminates against non-pawed pets,” one woman growled. “What about my goldfish? If a pet guppy gives birth does that count for paid time off too?”
“The world has officially gone mad,” another man barked, “39% of people actually think it’s ok to have time off for having a dog! This is an underlying issue with society, the fact that people feel entitled to everything… It’s not your employers issue or responsibility. If you feel that burning desire to get a dog, change your circumstances to allow it.”
However, others jumped in wagging their fingers (and their tails) at the doggie detractors, accusing them of being “close-minded.”
“New puppy owner here, currently on week 4 of sleepless nights, cleaning up messes and running around after pup whilst trying to hold down a full-time job. I would have loved a couple of weeks off… to be able to do my job to the best of my abilities and settle my new family member in!” one stated.
“I don’t normally put comments on these types of things but I feel really disappointed to be reading all of [this]… As someone with no children, I got a new puppy 2 years ago [and] took a week’s holiday to introduce and settle my new furball into our home and my employer at the time gladly granted this,” another explained. “Come on people in todays harsh, negative and work heavy world surely we can put more value to people’s lives by considering these relatively small requests.”
Wade later revealed that he compromised with his employee, allowing him to work from home for several weeks so that he could be closer to his new puppy, Bailey.
“Bailey and employee are both happy. Win win!!” Wade enthused, later sharing a snap of the new dog on his LinkedIn page.
Employers in the United Kingdom are not required to give their employees paid or unpaid “pawternity leave” and most do not do so, according to the Independent.
Most US companies similarly don’t offer the work perk. In fact, in 2016, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that just 14% of civilian workers have access to paid family leave.
However, some innovative businesses are now throwing their employees a bone and beginning to offer the “pawternity leave” option.
Ohio-based beer company BrewDog is now offering a week’s paid leave to workers who adopt a dog.
“The regular family isn’t everyone’s thing. We have to make sure we’re nurturing people’s family, whether that’s furry families or human families,” Miranda Dietz, the company’s supply chain manager, told the Chicago Tribune. “This is just a really cool way to make sure we’re taking care of our people.”
Meanwhile, a 2017 article in The Post proffered that many millennials are now opting to raise pets rather than children, meaning “pawternity leave” may become increasingly common in the future.