Bright Horizons is set to support the UK’s most family-friendly workplaces in taking their benefits to the next level with the roll-out of its new Pet Care service.
Bright Horizons already partners with over 400 UK businesses to support working parents and carers with their child and eldercare commitments and, following a successful pilot stage, has now extended its service to include furry friends too.
With over 4 million UK households becoming pet owners during lockdown, the demand for flexible and inclusive support to meet pet-related responsibilities is increasing. Back-Up Care services provide a lifeline to working pet owners and their employers when care arrangements fall through, or a last-minute walk is needed.
Bright Horizons first launched Pet Care in the US in 2022 and figures for 2023 already show a 50% increase in the number of organisations signing up to the service, with three times as many employees using it than the previous year.
Victoria Cottee, Head of Client Relations at Bright Horizons, said: “We’ve always been a nation of pet lovers and the rise in home-working during the pandemic coincided with a marked increase in pet ownership, as more of us were able to make the commitment to care for a pet.
“However, we’re now seeing more and more companies (and employees) recognising the benefits of being in the office at least some of the time. The pressure is mounting on working pet owners to find trusted and flexible care arrangements for their four-legged friends.
“Acknowledging the challenges employees face in combining work and family responsibilities – whatever these comprise - and providing meaningful support for them is a key factor in being an employer of choice. It’s equally impactful whether you want to send a message to your employees that their time and presence in the office is valued, or if you simply want to help them improve their productivity and lower their stress when they are working at home.
“We are already working with some of the UK’s most forward-thinking employers to support with child and elder care needs, and our research demonstrates this has a significant impact on wellbeing and productivity.
“There is now undoubtedly a growing need to provide support with pet care, and we look forward to seeing the positive difference it will make to working families and their employers across the UK.”