What could be possibly the first time in the country, HarperCollins Publishers India (HCI) will be granting "pawternity leave" to its employees. Starting this year, the publishing company’s employees will now be able to avail five-day paid leave if they adopt a pet.

Apart from providing this bonding time, the company has also allowed its employees to get their pets to work. What more, they even have a designated area for the pets at their Noida office.

Commenting on the move, Ananth Padmanabhan, Chief Executive Officer of HCI, said, "At HarperCollins we want the very best of work-life balance for our colleagues, and that includes being mindful about their family needs," adding that "Pet children need as much attention [as human children], if not more. We don't want colleagues to worry about the number of leaves they have before deciding to start a family."

Though the pet adoption leave policy is almost unheard in India, it has been around for quite some time in the western countries. The idea is to give the pet adopting parent a time to understand and bond with the pet and also encourage responsible adoption. The move by HCI is an attempt to ensure a better -life balance for employees and showcase the progressiveness of the Human Resources (HR) department in making HCI into an employee-friendly company

"We are always thinking of ways to make HarperCollins the best place to work for, in every respect. In fact, in the UK, we just won an award for diversity in the work place," said Manjula Sreekumaran, Head of HR at HCI.

HCI is a completely owned subsidiary of HarperCollins Worldwide and is the second largest trade publisher in India with a 25-year-old presence in the market. It employs more than 200 people in its Noida office.


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