Mars Petcare has partnered with veterinarians around Australia in developing a ‘Pet Care Leave’ certificate for Australian employees.

The company is also pioneering an internal pet leave policy to enable their Associates to take unpaid time off to care for their sick pets where possible.

The initiative comes as new national research* by Mars Petcare revealed two-thirds (67 per cent) of Aussie pet owners believe their employer would decline them sick or personal leave to care for their unwell pet.

In a bid to make the initiative accessible to all Australian pet parents, Mars Petcare has collaborated with Australian vets to create the certificate, which can be provided by vets or requested by pet owners who require time away from work to look after their critically ill pet.

Demand for workplace initiatives that put Australian pets first are increasingly on the rise. Employees are calling for their employers to progress their policies to align with their needs, with 72 per cent insisting they would want Pet Care Leave to be included in their employee leave benefits.

Additionally, these policies have an immense benefit on productivity, with 77 per cent of all Australian pet parents believing their productivity at work is negatively affected by having a sick pet at home. And more than half (55 per cent) confessed that they would lie to their employer in order to stay home and care for an unwell pet.

Mars Petcare Corporate Affairs Director Sophie Anning said that now is the time to make a nationwide change and give pet owners the opportunity to care for their four-legged family members.

“We know Australian pet owners are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of their animals, which is why Mars Petcare is actively advocating for employers and businesses to align their policies with the needs of pet owners.”

Highlighting the immense care Australians have for their pets’ wellbeing, the survey found 98 per cent of pet parents would consider their pets to be a member of their family. And, while nearly all (96 per cent) parents said they would feel comfortable requesting time off to care for their sick child, this figure dropped by a third (to 63 per cent) when it came to asking an employer for leave to care for a sick pet.

The Pet Care Leave certificate acts not only as clinical evidence that a person needs a day off to care for their unwell pet, but as a call to action for Australian businesses to support and implement new pet welfare leave policies.

Pet owners, veterinarians and businesses can access the Pet Care Leave certificate at

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