SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) -- With Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg about to become a dad, the social network boosted the amount of time fathers can take off to bond with their new babies.
Beginning with the new year, dads working full-time for Facebook anywhere in the world will have the option of taking four months' paid leave.
All new dads working for Facebook outside the US currently get a minimum of four weeks' paternity leave, with more time offered in locations where required by local law, according to Facebook.
Same-sex partners who are not primary caregivers for babies get the same paid leave time as dads, the social network said.
The change, effective January 1, essentially raises parental leave time for dads and non-custodial same-sex partners from four weeks to four months.
The change puts paternity leave outside the US on par with maternity leave at Facebook workplaces around the world, and extends the benefit to same-sex couples.
"In reviewing our parental leave policies, we have decided to make this change because it's the right thing to do for our people and their families," human resources boss Lori Matloff Goler said in a post on her Facebook page.
"This expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in same-sex relationships outside the US."
The paid time off can be taken any time during the year after a baby is born and includes adopted babies.
Maternity leave offered to Facebook employees around the world is already four months, and the benefit was available to both moms and dads in the United States.
Facebook also gives a $4,000 bonus for parents to help meet the needs of new babies.
Zuckerberg, who heads the company, announced last week that he will take two months' paternity leave after his wife gives birth to their first child.
"This is a very personal decision, and I've decided to take two months of paternity leave when our daughter arrives," Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page.
"Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families."
California-based Facebook gives US employees the option of taking as long as four months paid maternity or paternity leave, letting them divide the time as they wish over the course of a year.
Zuckerberg and his doctor wife, Priscilla, revealed in July that they were expecting their first child, a girl, after a series of miscarriages.
Leading streaming music service Spotify last week announced that all full-time employees will have the option to take as long as six months' parental leave at full pay during the first three years after having children.
Internet giants ramping leave time for parents could put pressure on other firms to do the same to attract talent in a competitive industry.