A PET firm is to launch a scheme where employees get an extra paid day off per year… when they welcome a new pet into the family.

Dubbed as “pet-ernity leave” Pets at Homes, which has a store at Lakeside, in Thurrock, will be kicking the initiative off in April which will apply to staff who welcome a new dog, cat or horse into their family.

Ian Kellett, Chief Executive of The Pets at Home Group, said: “We want to help and support key events in a colleague’s life.

"We are also launching a ‘flying the nest day’ when a child leaves home, a ‘new roost day’ when you move home and a day’s holiday on your birthday.

“We know that if you have a new dog, cat or horse it can be quite stressful and to help with the settling in process that comes with welcoming a new pet into any family, we want to grant one day’s paid holiday to help support them. It fits into our ethos – we recognise the importance of pets.”

At Pets at Home, 95 per cent of colleagues own a pet.