Pets are part of the family — but should we be entitled to paid time off from work when we adopt a new one?

Hospitality and retail boss Roger Wade has caused debate after asking his LinkedIn followers if he should give a staff member paternity leave after getting a new puppy.

The Boxpark founder launched a poll on the professional networking site and received almost 35,000 votes.

The results of Wade’s poll show that 61 per cent of people were against the idea.

YouGov decided to do a poll of their own. Their survey of more than 3,000 Brits showed that 77 per cent didn’t think people should get extra leave when they get a puppy. Only 11 per cent agreed, and 12 per cent voted “don’t know”.

In a talkRADIO poll from this morning, a whopping 89 per cent of people disagreed that employees should get “pawternity” leave, with just 11 per cent agreeing.

Thousands of people weighed in on Wade’s question on his original LinkedIn post.

Steve Horton, director of Horton and Sons, slammed the idea saying: “The world has officially gone mad.” The 43-year-old added that, despite always wanting a dog, he has only just got one as his work-life balance now allows it.

Horton wrote: “The employee has chosen to have a dog and then expects his employer to give away weeks of paid leave. How about not having a dog as your work situation does not allow it? It’s not your employer’s issue or responsibility. If you feel that burning desire to get a dog, change your circumstances to allow it.”

Callum Flavell, a HR Admin, replied to Horton’s post saying he should consider those who can’t have children, and added: “A dog is just as hard work as a child when it’s a puppy.”

Real estate professional Alicia Chmielewski commented: “Have people lost their minds?! I feel this proposal discriminates against non-pawed pets. What about my goldfish? If a pet guppy gives birth does that count for paid time off too?”

Dev Somnath Pillai, a partner and manager at John Lewis & Partners, said that as millennials are now the largest population in the workforce as well as making up the largest proportion of pet owners, it makes sense that companies are increasingly offering pet-related benefits in their contracts.

BrewDog CEO James Watt replied to say his company was the first in the world to introduce “pawternity” leave in which employees can get a full week off if they get a puppy.

HR boss Claire Johnston said she took a week off to welcome her new puppy two years ago.

She wrote: “Come on people, in today’s harsh, negative, and work-heavy world surely we can put more value to people’s lives by considering these relatively small requests?”

It seems the people have spoken and despite how convincing your — or your new arrival’s — puppy dog eyes are, it looks like “pawternity” leave won’t be the standard for quite some time.

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