So I’ve just arrived home with my gorgeous little girl — and look, I know all new parents say theirs is the most beautiful, the most delightful, the most perfect. But look at those blue eyes. That cute little button of a nose. She has melted my cold, dark heart.
And how I long now to spend our first few days together, watching her as she sleeps, alert to her cries, ready to feed her when she wakes and play with her until she tires. But I can’t. I must immediately abandon her, alone in this strange and empty house, and return to work. Why must I be denied paternity leave just because my little bundle of joy is a kitten? Do kittens and puppies not need around-the-clock care and attention in these first few days in a new home just as human babies do? Of course they do!
Now, if I worked for the Musti Group, a pet supply chain in the Nordics, it would be a totally different story: I would be allowed three days of paid parental leave while I bonded with little Haruka Habibi Chun-Ji Kalika (I don’t know what possessed me … I’ll probably just end up calling her Mittens or something) and helped her settle in. I’d expect nothing less from those Nordics.
That’s no small undertaking, however — 90 per cent of Musti’s 1500 employees own at least one cat or dog. But CEO David Rönnberg is committed to the initiative, which got introduced last month. “Pets always come first in everything we do, and that’s why pawternity leave is a natural step in developing our culture. Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with their new family member and ensure that they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest.”
Yes, David! Good boy! Not sure about the cheesy “pawternity” tag, but still.
“Depending on the needs of each pet, the first days spent together can be rather intense, and sleepless nights are more than familiar to recent pet parents. A baby animal requires constant attention and unconditional love. Paying attention to a pet’s needs and spending time with them supports their learning, builds trust and helps prevent behavioral disorders in the future.”
David says the introduction of pawternity leave will help his employees combine work and free time more seamlessly, contributing to the well-being of their entire family. I couldn’t agree more. And so, Peninsula pet-lovers, rise up and demand pawternity leave from your employer. Your contract needs a new claws. It simply Musti happen!