What do you do if you feel sick? Many of us call our boss and take the day off work. So what about when it comes to your pet? They can’t take care of themselves, but are you entitled to paid leave if your animal is unwell?
Leave for dependants
A dependant is anyone that relies on our care. This could be anyone from parents to children and anyone in between. However, it looks as though some companies are beginning to include pets on the list. That’s right; it seems as though some businesses will allow their workers to take paid time off for any emergency veterinary care that needs to happen, but this isn’t yet the law for everyone. Other companies may not grant you the time off work or insist that your time away is taken out of your vacation days instead.
This is the leave that occurs when someone close to you passes away. Although many companies allow their employees to have up to three days paid leave to plan the funeral or attend the service, this isn’t a legal requirement across the U.S. Thankfully, most employees will grant additional days of unpaid vacation days to get everything in order. So what about your pets? Many feel that if the leave extended to our four-legged friends, then people may soon try to work the system. It looks as though the law might not be changing on this one anytime soon.
Believe it or not, but many companies all around the world now offer paw-ternity leave. This is to help pet owners welcome their new additions into the home to ensure they settle into their new routines. However, this usually only lasts a week or two before the employee must return to work, and doesn’t include any further sick days they may need to take to look after their pet as a result. While many companies are now adopting the idea, it’s all at the discretion of the employer and may not even be paid.
Changing the law
Some people believe their pets should have the same rights as any other dependants who rely on their care. After all, our animals often grow to become a massive part of our life, and it can be a worrying time for many when they are sick. To top it off, many veterinary clinics aren’t open outside of office hours meaning we might not always get the care for our pets that we need. Many employers are now working pet leave into their contracts to ensure everyone is always cared for, but it looks as though some still haven’t made the change.
There might still be a way to go until everyone is granted paid leave to care for their sick animal, but the small changes could all soon add up to a whole new law. After all, our pets are family. Could we really leave them at home when they need us the most?