Money Wellness
Diary insert with February 29. Will you get paid to work this leap year or will you be working for free?
calendar icon28 Feb 2024

Does the leap year mean you miss out on a day’s pay?

As this year is a leap year, we get an extra day in the month.

But will you be one of the lucky ones who gets an additional day’s pay, or will you be one of the millions who will work an extra shift for absolutely nothing?

What is a leap year?

A leap year is a year that occurs every four years that has 366 days, including the bonus 29 February.

It is a calendar adjustment that helps keep calendars in line with the movement of the earth around the sun.

The earth takes around 365 and a half days to orbit the sun, meaning that over time our calendar gradually gets out of sync with planetary

movements. Therefore, to compensate we add an extra day every four years, which is 29 February.

The last leap year was in 2000 and fell on a Saturday so didn’t impact many salaried workers.

The last time a leap year was a working day was 2016. And this year, 29 February falls on a Thursday.

Will you get paid extra for working on a leap year?

Whether you get paid for working the day depends on how you’re paid.

It’s good news for all those paid hourly as you’ll be paid for the shift you put in. Essentially, anything you work on 29 February, you’ll be paid for.

However, it’s less positive for salaried employees who will have to work the day and not receive any money for it.

Workers on an annual salary get a set amount for the whole year. The extra day is included in the calculation of your overall earnings, unless your contract says otherwise.

And if you requested to take the day, it would be taken out of your usual holiday entitlement. You can’t have it as a free day off.

And it’s the same for anyone who is paid weekly, as a leap day doesn’t change the length of a seven-day week.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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