Staff at St Helens vets award pet-friendly time off

Client care co-ordinator Emma Leighton, from White Cross Vets, with her dog Nacho Cheese has welcomed the new peternity initiative
Client care co-ordinator Emma Leighton, from White Cross Vets, with her dog Nacho Cheese has welcomed the new peternity initiative
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A family-run veterinary practice in St Helens is introducing a pet-friendly policy that will enable its team to benefit from ‘peternity’ leave.

All staff at White Cross Vets will now be entitled to two fully paid days off work when they get a cat, dog or rabbit, to help settle them into their new home.

The generous initiative was the idea of one of the practice’s client care co-ordinators, who suggested it whilst she was acting as the managing director for the day, as part of White Cross Vets’ 80 year anniversary celebrations.

Vet Michelle Weston, from White Cross Vets, said: “We believe we are the first veterinary practice in St Helens to offer two full days paid peternity leave.

“Our ethos is all about caring for pets, and the first few days at home with a new addition are so special.

“It’s therefore essential that quality time can be dedicated to a new pet, in order to make sure they feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.

“As our team are all pet owners already, this time off will give them the chance to introduce and socialise any new family members with existing pets, which must be done carefully and under supervision.

“Bringing a new pet into the family takes a lot of patience and perseverance, and certain breeds or older pets can be harder to train or take longer to bond.

“Also there is a lot of preparation work that needs to be done in the home and garden when a young pet dog, cat or rabbit arrives, so this time off will hopefully make it easier for our team to give their new pets a safe and welcoming start in their new homes.”

Other innovative perks that White Cross Vets offers include five fully paid donation days a year to volunteer with chosen charities, a health care scheme, days off and cakes for birthdays, as well as subsidised Fitbits and gym memberships.

As a result, the family run practice has been named in The Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Small Companies To Work For’ league table for six years running and recently won the prestigious ‘Employer of the Year’ award at the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) National Business Awards.

For details about how to settle a pet into their new home visit http://www.whitecrossvets.co.uk/posts/tips-for-introducing-a-new-pet-to-the-family