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  • Jane Thornthwaite

Understanding Leap Year Payroll: How to Navigate Quandaries as an Employer

A pink calculator on top of a calendar. Showing the month of February for the leap year.

As 2024 unfolds, we find ourselves in a Leap Year, with an extra day gracing our calendars on the 29th February.

For employers, this additional day prompts the perennial question from employees: 'Do I get paid extra?' In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of Leap Years and explore the considerations employers face when it comes to compensating their workforce.

🌸 Understanding Leap Years: A Brief Journey Through Time

Leap Years have been a part of our calendar system since 1752. The rule is simple: any year divisible by 4 is a Leap Year, except for centenary years (those ending in 00). In the latter case, the year must be divisible by 400 to qualify as a Leap Year. For example, 1900 was not a Leap Year, 2000 was, and 2100 will not be.

🌸 Leap Year Payroll and Employee Compensation

The burning question for employees during a Leap Year revolves around extra pay. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Fixed Salary or Wage: Employees on fixed salaries or wages, calculated on an annual basis, will not receive extra pay solely because of the additional day. Whether paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, the annual salary divided by the respective pay periods remains unchanged.

  2. Contractual Agreements: Contracts specifying payment on a weekly, fortnightly, or lunar basis inherently cover the additional day in the pay period. However, those paid monthly must ensure their average hourly rate complies with the legal National Minimum/Living Wage.

  3. Hourly/Shift/Day Workers: Employees paid by the hour, shift, or day receive compensation based on the work performed. Regardless of the calendar, working days, or Leap Day, these workers are entitled to payment for the extra day worked.

🌸 Navigating Payroll Considerations

To avoid ambiguity, employers and HR departments might consider including a clause in employment contracts clarifying the circumstances under which no extra pay is due. While it's uncommon to find contracts explicitly stating 'you will work an extra day but won't get paid for it,' such clarity can help manage expectations and prevent misunderstandings.

As the Leap Year unfolds, employers can confidently address payroll queries, ensuring fair compensation practices while maintaining compliance with employment laws.


If this article has left you with questions or if you're seeking expert assistance to ensure your payroll is seamlessly managed, look no further. Blossom Bookkeeping is here to help.

Contact us today for reliable and professional payroll services tailored to your business needs. Let's make managing payroll as straightforward as counting the days. 🌸


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