Dogs in the workplace – when a pet becomes a problem 

The Helens

The Helens

We hate to break it to you, but dogs in the workplace can be extremely stressful. Especially for those who are terrified and / or acutely allergic to them (and before you start, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog – no – not even your schnauzer and definitely not any type of poodle). 

We accept dogs may be present in the workplace for a number of valid reasons – to assist a blind person, to act as a guard dog or for wellbeing – but in every case, the hazards and risk created by a dog’s presence should be assessed and managed. 

If you decide to embrace Take Your Dog to Work Day, or allow pets into the workplace, you will need to take steps to mitigate the risks involved.   

An assessment of the hazards and risks created by the presence of the dogs will be required. There will be situations where it’s very obviously not appropriate, for example where employees have an acute allergy.  

It can only be decided on a case by case. If you decide to allow your furry friends into the workplace, confirm that your Employers’ Liability (if applicable) and Public Liability insurance cover extends to injuries caused by pets. 

And be prepared to fumigate the workplace once the pets have left. Assuming those with allergies will be working from somewhere else that day, you’ll still need to deep clean the office to reduce the amount of hair and dander. Unfortunately, it will take weeks for the environment to be completely clean of allergens, but a deep clean is a good start.  

You may want to consider having a clear ‘Pets At Work’ policy. Realistically, there are few companies who allow dogs in the work place  (about 8% of employees in the UK are allowed to take their dogs to work) but if you’re one of them, please get in touch and we can provide you with comprehensive Pets At Work policy.

If you need support with any of your policies, get in touch thehelens@complexhr.co.uk

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