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Meow, woof, squeak, neigh stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive…

Well hiiiiideeeeeeehiiiiiii Precepters – how are we all?  I first must start with a confession – I haven’t spoken to you all in a while – why?  Because I missed my last blog – naughty me!!  No excuses, I was just too busy looking after our gorgeous clients….However, I WILL pledge to be more on the ball going forward, I promise!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend?  There was actually a blazing ball of fire in the sky, I believe they call it “the sun” and I can’t remember the last time I saw it!  Yes, it was chilly, but whilst I was sorting the electric fencing down a boggy, wet field for my neddies yesterday afternoon (in a rare moment of blissful tranquillity as the kids were at a party!) the birds were singing, the sun was on my face and it felt like (shhhhhh, whisper so the weather Gods don’t hear and get cross) SPRING IS ON THE WAY!!!!!

Now, we all love the lighter nights (yes, its creeping to 6pm now!) and the warmer weather, apart from Rob who likes the winter (don’t ask!) but as a horse mum, it feels like we are crawling across the finish line.  I think dog parents feel a similar way.  Now, all we need is about 3 weeks of no rain to get rid of all the standing water and we will be away!

Apart from basking in the sunshine, I spent my weekend in my happy place – with the horses.  My youngest daughter had a dressage competition, which she smashed and only ended up winning (no, I didn’t cry, did you?  Well, it definitely wasn’t me!) and my neddy, the infamous Bentley is a super star at the moment in his dressage training, so all good.

But, you came here for my employment brain.  Well, this week I can link the 2 after hearing an interesting news story on the radio…….in this story, there was a call for employers to offer bereavement leave for employees when they have a death of a pet.

Now, to some (non-animal lovers), this may seem absurd, but to others, it will make complete sense. Many people have very close relationships with their pets (ahem, me, Philip, Catherine, Alex, Mark, to name a few) and rely on them more than family or friends. I know personally that my horses are my happy place and without them I literally fall into a quivering wreck on the floor.  I remember having COVID and not being able to see them for 10 days and it almost killed me, and more’s the point, I nearly killed the rest of my family!

If anything were to happen to either Bentley or Twiggy (the horses) or Mimi (our cat), safe to say I would be devastated, and no doubt it would impact me at work as well, but I have no doubt that I would be fully supported by my colleagues. Others might not be so lucky though – not every team can be team Precept!

Offering support for employees in instances such as this really can help improve company morale, creating a positive culture which ultimately leads to retention, performance and the overall wellbeing of employees.

If you are wanting to create a company culture where employees feel they are supported, then what can you do as an employer? Be understanding, of course, offer help and support just as you would with a family bereavement and in doing that employees are going to appreciate the understanding, some employers have even gone as far as having pet bereavement included in their policies and paid leave where this happens. You might not want to go that far but it’s definitely something to think about.

At Precept we are committed to building the business we would want to work in and so if any of our team came to me with the sad news of their pet’s passing, they would get all the support they would need.  That’s because I get it though, and not everyone will feel the same.  It’s such an interesting concept and one certain to divide the crowds…

What do you think? Is this a positive step in the right direction or do you think it is a step too far?