In what is thought to be the first policy of its kind in India, publishing company Harper Collins has introduced ‘pawternity leave’ to employees adopting a pet. Employees who are adopting any animal – not just a dog or a cat – can have up to 5 days of paid leave to help bond with their new arrival.

In the West, some companies have already introduced such a policy, but it was – until now – unheard of in India. The idea is to encourage responsible adoption of pets, as well as, according to Harper Collins India’s CEO, to support their employees’ ‘work-life balance and family needs’.

In addition to pawternity leave, Harper Collins India will also be allowing employees who are unable to leave their pets at home to bring them to the office. The animals will be kept in a specifically designated ‘pet creche’ for the day. A spokesperson for Harper Collins UK stressed that the company was not looking to bring this policy to the UK.

Economics and Management students might be interested in how pawternity leave will impact on the business in varying ways, both positively and negatively (increased employee satisfaction vs financial repercussions of having a reduced workforce due to staff utilising these additional days of paid leave). Students of HSPS and other social sciences like Politics might be interested in why Harper Collins India have introduced this, but Harper Collins UK will not be introducing this policy.

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