Employees of ICD Property will soon be 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.

With over ​29 million pets in Australia and one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, ‘paw-ternity’ leave is becoming a reality with pets being deemed valuable members of the family.

This has prompted ICD Property, a privately-owned property development company based in Melbourne, to institute a progressive pet-friendly initiative available for new additions to the family, as well as those who are already a ‘pet parent’ and need to support their furry friend in some capacity.

According to ICD, a ‘pet parent’ is 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’, the company says employee’s will need to provide sufficient evidence of their circumstances and apply for such leave through HR.

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.

 “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 says.

Randall says this new initiative aims to pave the way for workers to feel that the demands of caring for an animal are taken seriously by colleagues and seniors alike, promoting mutual understanding and positive workplace culture.

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