Aussies call for improved workplace policies to care for their sick pets

Sophie Anning, Corporate Affairs Director at Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare has announced a nationwide ‘Pet Care Leave’ certificate, hoping to highlight the disparity between workplace policies and the needs of Aussie employees. The initiative comes as a research by the pet food manufacturer revealed two-thirds (67%) of Aussie pet owners believe their employer would decline them sick or personal leave to care for their unwell pet.

What is the Pet Care Leave certificate?

In a bid to make the initiative accessible to all Australian pet parents, Mars Petcare has collaborated with Australian vets to create the certificate, which can be provided by vets or requested by pet owners who require time away from work to look after their critically ill pet.

Demand for workplace initiatives that put Aussie pets first are on the rise. Employees are calling for their employers to progress their policies to align with their needs, with 72% insisting they would want Pet Care Leave to be included in their employee leave benefits.

These policies have an immense benefit on productivity, with 77% of all Australian pet parents believing their productivity at work is negatively affected by having a sick pet at home. Over half (55%) confessing they would lie to their employer in order to stay home and care for an unwell pet. In response, Mars Petcare Australia is also pioneering an internal pet leave policy to allow their Associates to take time off to care for their sick pets.

How integral are pets to Aussie employees?

Mars Petcare Corporate Affairs Director Sophie Anning said: “We know Aussie pet owners are dedicated to the wellbeing of their animals, which is why Mars Petcare is actively advocating for employers and businesses to align their policies with the needs of pet owners.”

“Our pets are treated like family and they enrich the lives of millions of Australians. Now is the time to make a nationwide change and give pet owners the opportunity to care for their four-legged family members as they’re able to for any other family member,” Anning said.

Highlighting the care Aussies have for their pets’ well-being, the survey found 98% of pet parents would consider their pets to be a member of their family. While nearly all (96%) said they would feel comfortable requesting time off to care for their sick child, this figure dropped by a third (to 63%) when it came to asking an employer for leave to care for a sick pet.

The Pet Care Leave certificate acts not only as clinical evidence that a person needs a day off to care for their unwell pet, but as a call to action for Australian businesses to support and implement new pet welfare leave policies. Pet owners, veterinarians and businesses can access the Pet Care Leave certificate at the website. Mars Petcare is a supporter of pet-friendly policies and the difference these policies make to pets and the people who love them.

 To learn more about Mars Petcare Australia, visit the website.