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Beer and Dogs: The Introduction of Paw-ternity Leave at a UK Brewery

Topics: Work Culture

In the past few years, it’s become more common for companies to offer pet-related perks. For example, some organizations let employees bring their dogs to work on set days. But one brewery is taking it to another level entirely. The BrewDog brewery is based in Scotland and breaking ground in the U.S. near Columbus, Ohio. With a name like BrewDog, you can bet that they’re dog-friendly, and they’re now making headlines, not about their beer, but about their new HR policy.

BrewDog already allows well-mannered pups to accompany their people to work, with about 50 regular dogs at their Scottish HQ, but now they’re making things easier for their employees at home, too. When employees bring home a new puppy or older rescue dog, they’re offering up to a week of paid leave, dubbed “paw-ternity” time. This time can be used to acclimate a new puppy to your home, when it’s so key to get behavioral routines locked in, and to make sure the pup eases into what’s a drastic change.

Courtesy of BrewDog

It’s not easy trying to juggle work and settle a new dog into your life, and many members of our crew have four-legged friends at home. So we wanted to take the stress out of the situation and let our teams take the time they need to welcome their new puppy or dog into their family. We always want to raise the bar when it comes to offering our staff the best possible benefits; at BrewDog, we care about two things above all else. People and beer. We also just really really like dogs,” co-founder James Watt said.

The brewery also offers paid leave for taking care of tiny humans, available to both moms and dads.

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While pet-leave isn’t a new concept in the U.K., it’s new to the beer industry with BrewDog’s addition. Mars Petcare of the United Kingdom offers a similar plan where employees can tend to the transitioning of a new dog with some paid time at home. Others simply have to take unpaid or personal/sick days to stay home with a sick or needy animal. But many U.K.-based dog-loving companies are realizing the benefits of making it easy for employees to tend to their furry pets with some focus, rather than showing up for work in a daze of sleepless nights and worry over what the new puppy is getting into in their absence.

Courtesy of BrewDog

Greg Buchanan, owner of IT company BitSol Solutions in Manchester, England offers this insight into why they offer the paid leave for pet needs:

“I don’t have kids myself but I do have dogs and I understand how much they mean to people. I find being flexible with my staff when it comes to their animals makes them loyal and hardworking. Pets are like babies nowadays so why shouldn’t staff have some time off when they arrive?”

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Would you take advantage of paid time off for a new dog? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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