MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Pawternity Leave, it’s fur real!

The ICD Team,

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15th April 2020

In ICD Property’s latest step to promote healthier work-life balance and become more inclusive of all staff lifestyles, The People Project have introduced Pawternity Leave.

A new, generous category of employee benefits where ICD Property staff who are also ‘pet parents’ are eligible for an additional four days of paid leave each year, while an unwell, injured or loss of an animal allows for two days paid leave within personal/carers leave.

A ‘pet parent’ references an employee who has a pet or is in the process of adopting a pet and eligible pet parents are those who have a paw-friendly animal such as a dog or cat. To receive ‘Pawternity Leave’, employees need to provide sufficient evidence of their circumstances and apply for such leave through HR.

The new policy acknowledges that kids aren’t for everybody and for some, their furry babies are just as much an essential part of the family. The policy aims to ensure all staff feel seen, valued, and included across all the company’s policies.

Welcoming a new pet into the family can take some getting used to. Particularly pets such as dogs who require training and comfort when introduced into a new environment. Rather than having staff feel anxious, stressed, or nervous being at work while a new pet is at home alone, Pawternity Leave allows staff to take adequate time and care to welcome their new family addition then return to work focused, centred, and productive.

People Development Manager Hayley Randall said ICD Property recognised the exciting, and at times, demanding nature of being a ‘pet parent’ and the obligations it entails.

“A new pet can be as demanding as a newborn baby – they need constant supervision in their first days at home or after an illness and this can often lead to anxiety within the office as you’re unable to be with them.   “We are also big believers in work-life integration and want all our employees to feel included, whether they are a pet parent or an actual parent. It’s exciting to see our colleagues starting families of their own and having the ability to take our generous parental leave options to spend quality time with their new babies however there are those of us that treat their fur babies as part of the family.   “We also strongly believe productivity will be boosted when in the office as comfort can be taken that you have been able to take the time to deal with pet issues,” she said.

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