Leap year and the impact on employment

As the world gets ready to mark a leap year, it is worth considering the potential impact that it may have on pay and your holiday entitlement.

Typically, most people have 253 working weekday days each year, but the edition of the 29th February (despite it falling on the weekend), means that this average is now 254 working weekdays.

For most this will mean an additional day’s work with no reward, but for some, it could mean additional pay and more holiday time.

Salaried Workers

For most of those working full time on an annual salary, they will not receive any additional pay for their extra day of work, as it will have already been factored into your salary.

This is because monthly pay is calculated as a twelfth of an individual’s pay packet, regardless of the number of days in each month. Those working pro-rate part-time for an annual salary will also not receive any additional pay.

The only exception to this rule is if your contract has a specific clause about extra pay on leap years, in which case you receive pay for the additional day you work.

Those on a very low salary should check whether the additional day tips them below the national minimum wage, as they may need to notify their employer if this is the case, as they would otherwise be underpaying and could be subject to a fine.

Hourly/Weekly Paid Workers 

Those paid by the hour or by the day can be asked to work the extra time, but they must be paid for it.

Unfortunately, if you are paid on a weekly rate then you only get paid for each full week you complete, meaning the extra day won’t mean more pay.

Shift workers or those on a zero-hours contract who work an extra day should also get additional time towards their holiday accrual.

If you are unsure of the rules surrounding leap years and employment rights, why not speak to our team today.