Italian woman wins landmark case for sick pay when looking after ill dog


The academic was supported by one of the biggest animal rights groups in Europe, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League.

An Italian woman has won a landmark legal battle to receive sick pay for the time she took off to look after her unwell dog.

The academic, who is based in Rome, won her case with the help of lawyers from one of the biggest animal rights groups in Europe, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (IAVL). A judge ruled that the university employing her should count her two days off under an allowance for absences for “serious or family personal reasons”.

The decision was supported by a provision under Italian law that means people who abandon animals to “grave suffering” can be jailed for a year and fined up to E10,000 (US$11,870).

The IAVL’s president Gianluca Felicetti said the ruling set an important example.

“It is a significant step forward that recognised that animals that are not kept for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family,” he said. “Now, with the necessary veterinary certification, those in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent.”