What exactly is pawternity leave?

They don’t share the family genes or get much in the will, but our furry little friends are family! Pawternity/furternity leave is a period of paid time off work for employees to get their newest four-legged family member settled into a new home and routine. Finding a vet near home for a new furry friend and house training them can take a while! New pawrents can use this time off to help their new pet settle in and familiarise them with their house space, potty spot(s), and feeding times.

Adjusting to life with a new baby (furry or otherwise) or a new life without a fur friend you’ve had for years takes some... adjusting. Here’s why we think every furmily deserves pawternity/furternity leave:

Attracting top talent

Become the employer of choice for new employees, especially Millennials (currently the largest generation in the workforce and possibly the largest pet-owning generation) and Gen Z-ers (who require nothing less than presidential privileges).

Higher productivity levels

Playing chase with a deadline while your new pet (alone in a strange new concrete jungle) or departed dearest keeps coming back to your mind like a boomerang doesn’t lend itself to productivity. Pawternity leave can give pawrents the time they need with their pet and help them return to work with the necessary focus.

Less absenteeism

Staff will stop feigning sickness just to get a day or two with the new pet or mourn the loss of a dear friend. (Not that staff is doing that, wink wink).

Better morale

Taking our minds off work to be with our fur babies can give us a fresh perspective, calm our angst, and improve our work and mood upon return!


Many US and UK companies offer pawternity/furternity leave for their staff to look after new, sick, and mourn departed pets. As the trend grows, we hope SA employers will start throwing SA pawrents a bone by offering extended employment perks for pet owners.