Ruth Mitchell

Animal magic or legal lions' den?

More and more workers are bringing their pets to work, according to a new survey. The presence of animals in the office helps raise productivity and lower stress levels, says the report.

A recent survey of small businesses commissioned by animal charity The Blue Cross found that 90% of companies who allowed dogs in the workplace noticed a positive change in the working environment. Two-thirds claimed staff morale had lifted and 56% said pets had improved work relations.

However, while many people would welcome the company of a furry friend to brighten up their day, officebroker.com points out that there are serious issues employers should consider before they adopt a ‘pets-in-the-office’ policy.

Jim Venables, founder of officebroker.com, said: “Employers need to think long and hard before they adopt a pet policy. For example, does the company have suitable liability insurance to cover them if a canine colleague bites an employee or a feline friend scratches a VIP visitor? Will the Company be liable to charges of discrimination if a job candidate is unable to take up a position because of an allergy or phobia to a particular pet?”

Managing Director Andy Haywood said: “Serviced office providers are telling us that they are receiving an increasing number of requests from tenants whose staff are keen to bring their pets into the office. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this increase in demand may have come about because more people are finding themselves living alone and are reluctant to leave their pets at home all day without company.”

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