An Italian woman recently won the right use sick leave to effectively get paid to take time off work to care for here sick dog, a 12 year-old English setter called Cucciola.
The 53-year old librarian at Sapiennza University in Rome – identified only by her first name, Anna – took two days off work in order to accompany Cucciola to the vet for two different operations.
She told her employers that as she is unmarried and lives alone, her dogs are in effect her ‘family’ – and argued that the days off should therefore be treated as paid compassionate leave.
‘It is a significant step forward that recognized that animals that are no kept for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family’ said Gianluca Felicetti, of the Italian animal rights group whose lawyers helped Anna present her case to her employers.
Relevance to A-level sociology
This is most obviously relevant to the families and households module, especially the Personal life Perspective which says that people increasingly see pets as part of the family, and this is a clear example of this view of the family gaining legal recognition in Italy.