The benefits of allowing staff to bring their pets to work is well documented and proven. As long as no one is allergic to them and the pets (usually dogs, but not always) are safe and well behaved, everyone gains. It could even be a deciding factor in staff retention — after all, who wouldn’t want their best friend sat next to them at work?
One area that’s often overlooked, is how do these pets get to work? Great if the employee lives a walkable distance from the office, but what about those travelling from further afield? And what happens during the day if their owners need to travel to appointments, particularly in company vehicles?
Clunk, click every trip?
On a sunny day we have probably all smiled at the cute dog with its head stuck out of the car window enjoying the breeze, but no one would dream of driving with an unsecured child — because it’s dangerous and illegal. In a recent study by a leading low-cost car insurance provider, more than 1,000 motorists across Australia were asked if they secure their pets when travelling in a motor vehicle. In each Australian state, less than half of those questioned said they do.
It’s easy to forget that a pet moving around the vehicle or barking, can be a huge distraction. And if the driver breaks suddenly, they would be hurled like a missile and possibly seriously injured.
Protect yourself and your pets
For each state in Australia the road rules for travelling with pets differs. Carelessly driving with a pet on your lap or an unrestrained pet could lead to a range of penalties and fines for unsafe driving. But perhaps even worse, if you’re involved in an accident which has been caused by a pet, this could invalidate your insurance.
So the company “bring your pet to work” policy needs to go further than looking at the office, the types of pets allowed (we might be tempted to pull a sickie if we had to share our work space with a snake!) and team agreement — it should also extend to travel. If you need help putting this into practice, do call The HR Dept. As well as preventing people problems, we also prevent pet problems!