Workers are to be given two days’ paid leave if their pets die in a bill put forward in Colombia.
Alejandro Carlos Chacon, 48, of the Colombian Liberal Party, brought forward a bill that would oblige employers to pay two days of paid leave following the death of an employee’s beloved pet.
According to the news site El Tiempo, Chacon said: “Some people do not have children but they do have a much-loved pet with which they develop a deep brotherly bond.”
He went on to say that they will help people “overcome their grief and pain of losing these beloved animals without being preoccupied by their jobs.”
Chacon added that the bill will be relevant to the majority of Colombian families, as six out of 10 households have a ‘pet’, although the bill does not specify which animals are considered ‘pets’.
El Tiempo did report that the law described a pet as an animal with which the owner has a “strong sentimental bond”.
It also stated that the death of an ‘exotic’ animal will not make someone eligible for two paid days of mourning.
According to the bill, an employee would have access to the paid leave only if they told their employer about the pet before the death and if they can provide evidence of its death.
There were some concerns about employees lying about the death of their pets, but the bill aims to discourage this by issuing fines of an unspecified amount.
For the bill to be written into Colombian law, it will have to pass four debates between the Senate and the House of Representatives.
According El Tiempo, these debates often drag on, so an exact date of when the bill will pass or be rejected is not clear.