"For many people, pets are dear loved ones and losing them can be emotional and traumatic," Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Luke Hilakari said in a statement.
Pet parents have always been in a dilemma when their babies have fallen sick but they had to go to work because they had no other choice. They had no option to stay away from work, so they had to leave their sick pets at home, unsupervised and go to work with a heavy heart. However, pet parents can now take time off to take care of their sick pets. According to Daily Mail, the move has received union backing in Victoria, where some pet-friendly companies have already implemented the groundbreaking policy. Grievance counselor Tracey Woods wants to see pet bereavement included as a part of workplace agreements.
"There's no real follow up of how people are going," Woods said. Australia is a country which has the highest rates of pet ownership in the world where 62 per of households have a pet family member. According to the RSPCA, there are 20 dogs and 16 cats for every 100 Australians. NSW and Victoria account for 60 percent of all pets in Australia, and 59 percent of the nation’s human population.
Victorian Trades Hall Council supports the need for pet bereavement leave. "As trade unions, we will always stand in solidarity to support working people who are fighting for things that are important to them," secretary Luke Hilakari said in a statement in Daily Mail Australia. "For many people, pets are dear loved ones and losing them can be emotional and traumatic."
"We understand why some people will need time to grieve the loss of a pet, and bosses should show compassion and decency to support them to do that." Versa Learning, a Melbourne educational technology company, became the first workplace in Australia last year to introduce leave for staff to care for sick pets. The policy includes two days for pet bereavement leave, five days to care for a sick or injured pet and two days to help new pets settle in into the new homes.
"Many of our employees with pets consider them an important part of the family and would be devastated if they died or were injured," Verso chief executive Colin Wood told the Maribyrnong Leader at the time. "Our new policy recognizes this and means they will not need to worry about work at an already difficult and stressful time." Donna Yates was happy about the news as she wrote: Great idea, just took 2 weeks of my annual leave because my dog decided to eat a face washer that got lodge in his intestine... emergency surgery $4,000 later as well my holidays were spent nursing my devil of a dog but he’s worth every cent!! what we do for love.
Hazel Stephens added: Wonderful initiative! Pets are family. It’s not “extra” leave, as people already take time off to care for their pets or grieve when they die. Now people will be able, to be honest with their employer and colleagues about why they need time off, instead of feigning a cold. Emily Woods added: I think this is a great thing. Pets are part of the family and should be treated and viewed as such. Work places should be considerate and understand what a pet can mean to someone and be flexible with time off. For some people, pets are the only family they have. A few people may say oh it's just an animal but they obviously dint understand what an animal can mean to someone. My dogs are family, they come before a lot of things in my life, I would do anything for them. I would take days off without pay for them but something like this would be great in the UK.
Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.