Emma McNulty said animals should be treated as part of the family (Picture: Metrograb)

An 18-year-old is calling for employers to give bereaved pet owners time off when their animals die after she was fired for taking a day off following the death of her dog.

Emma McNulty said she was terminated from her job at a sandwich shop after she asked for a day off when Milly the Yorkshire Terrier died.

The teenager from Baillieston, Scotland, was understandably stricken with grief after the loss of her ‘best friend’ on Saturday morning after 14 years together.

After her sudden loss, Emma phoned her managers at the shop to say she would be unable to work that afternoon as she was too ‘devastated and physically sick’ to do so.

However, she said that rather than being given sympathy from her employers, she was sacked after she was unable to find a replacement for her shift at 3pm.

Emma has now launched a petition to extend compassionate leave to pets (Picture: Metrograb)

Emma said: ‘I informed my manager I could not come into work as I was too devastated and physically sick to do so.

‘Instead of being shown the compassion and sympathy stated in the contract, I was sent a number of nasty messages and told I had to cover my shift as no bereavement time was allowed for pets.

‘I did not go to work that day and I was fired and left unemployed the same day as losing my best friend, this caused me extreme distress and sickness.’

Emma was told it was her responsibility to find cover for the shift.

When she was unable to find a replacement, she was informed over email that she should not come in for the rest of her shifts as she had been fired for gross misconduct.

Milly was adopted by Emma 14 years ago (Picture: Metrograb)

Employers legally have to give workers a reasonable amount of unpaid leave following the death of a human family member or spouse.

She is now calling for employers to update their policies on compassionate leave and treat the loss of a pet the same as the death of any other family member.

Emma has now launched a petition to extend this compassionate leave to cover the deaths of pets which is close to 10,000 signatures.

She said: ‘I think it’s disgusting how some companies think it’s acceptable to treat someone in this way with no remorse, a family pet (in my case my dog) has just as much importance as a human family member.

‘It’s time companies acknowledged this and give people the time they need to grieve, with no worry of losing their job.’





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