Thomson Reuters Corp. is introducing a minimum 16-week paid leave for all employees who are welcoming a new child, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or family role.

The global policy is part of a wider Thomson Reuters initiative to promote a healthy work-life balance through its Flex My Way program, which also includes a ‘work from anywhere’ policy and an expanded sabbatical program.

“At Thomson Reuters, we celebrate all new parents regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, marital status or family structure,” says Mary Alice Vuicic, the company’s chief people officer. “We have spoken to our [employees] around the world and know supportive parental leave is life-changing, specifically in areas where there is little or no legislation to protect the earnings of new parents.”

Read: Thomson Reuters expanding remote work policy, sabbatical program

In Canada, where there’s no statutory requirement for employers to provide paid leave for non-birthing parents, this new policy increases paid leave for eligible non-birthing employees, from one week to 16 weeks. The program also offers more generous terms for the birthing parent: Canadian employees will receive a total of 17 weeks of paid leave with a 100 per cent top-up.

“As a working parent myself, I know welcoming a child into a family is a life-changing experience and one that requires support from family, friends and employers,” says Vuicic. “And studies have shown that giving new parents paid leave to adjust and bond with their new child has a positive effect on the physical, financial and emotional well-being of the whole family.”

Read: Thomson Reuters supporting employee well-being with new vacation policy