A Geelong-based MP has called on the state government to promote pet-friendly workplaces as workers begin to return to the office after 18 months of working from home.
Western Victoria MP Andy Meddick, who represents the Animal Justice Party, introduced a motion into parliament on Tuesday to allow pets in workplaces.
Mr Meddick said animal behaviourists had raised concerns about a spike in separation anxiety and confusion as people returned to work and a move to allow pets in offices would reduce the animals’ stress while also keeping workers happy.
“Victoria has finally been released from lockdown. After 262 days of home isolation, our pets are more used to having us at home than ever before,” he said.
“The 262 days we spent in lockdown might have been some of our worst, but arguably, they were some of the best for our companion animals.
“As life returns to normal and workers head back to the office, we are expecting a huge increase in separation anxiety and stress from our furry best friends.
“But there is a simple solution. The pandemic has changed the way we work and our pets shouldn’t be left behind.
“I am calling for more Victorian workplaces … to be made pet-friendly.
“Pet-friendly workplace policy benefits all of us. Having our companion animals around is not only good for their own mental health and stimulation, but ours too.
“Allowing pets in the workplace is proven to lower stress levels, increase happiness and morale, and even boost productivity.
“I hope that as a starting point, the Parliament House precinct can set an example and be made friendlier to our pets – they are family after all.”