UK – Sacked Worker Calls For Pet Bereavement Leave (BBC News)

Posted 20th August 2019 • Written by •

A woman in the UK who says she was sacked on the same day her family dog died has started a campaign for bereavement leave when employees lose their pets, reports BBC News. Emma McNulty, from Glasgow, said she was too upset to work after her terrier Millie died over the past weekend and claims she was physically sick with grief. However, McNulty, a student who worked part-time at a sandwich shop, was told to find cover or risk dismissal. Unable to find a replacement, she said her part-time job in a sandwich shop was terminated. She has started a petition asking for employers to recognise pet bereavement in the same way as a human family member. The petition has so far gained more than 10,000 signatures. According to the UK government, compassionate leave can be granted by an employer as paid or unpaid leave for emergency situations. However, this is at the discretion of the employer. A spokesperson for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service commented, “"Pets are not specifically mentioned within workplace bereavement legislation but the death of a beloved pet can impact a worker's mental health and a good employer should be sensitive and mindful of their employees' wellbeing."