Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Caring for pets

SafeWork SA Work Life Balance Strategy manager Michelle Hogan said while employers did not consider pets a valid reason to use carer or personal leave, many were understanding of staff using annual leave or rostered days off, to tend to the needs of their dog or cat.

This article sits a  bit on the fence about pets but to owners , pets are a part of their family, one of the family and they are totally dependant on you to care for them and their are laws if you don't. Perhaps the article is highlighting the fact that others, particularly employers may not see caring for pets as a genuine reason for having time off work. Vet appointments, like dental and medical appointments can usually be scheduled around working hours unless there is an emergency but with operations or care for injured animals then that has to be worked into a busy schedule and time off might help streamline some of the care in the long run. I took the day off when my dog had the spindle cell tumour removed from her leg. It was unknown if the operation would be successful and it is a very aggressive cancer. The operation has given her another year of healthy life. I took the day off to be there and to organise what was needed for her 10 days of having to be inside. I was beside myself. Responsible ownership means you make responsible decisions as you do with responsible parenting. Some employers are concerned people take time off to look after children. We do not have extended families to connect with and call upon in this country. Most of us have families overseas. It all comes down to who is in your network and most people are under pressure. If they manage their time off properly it ought not be a problem and sometimes a day home means you think through your work stuff or you can quickly achieve things on home internet while you are managing the care of a pet. It's a balancing act and it is about balance. If people always had time off for pets then yes, you'd wonder why you employed them, but most people manage it well and need support as they do with other family crises.Putting pressure on means the overworked RSPCA would have to take on more work or we give up pets and that would be sad.

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