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Leap Year Pay Confusion: Employers Navigate Uncertainty

Posted by HR & Employment Team

Many UK employers are scrambling to understand how the extra day in February affects their payroll obligations, as failing to pay correctly could land them in legal trouble.

The key factor is how employees are paid:

  • Hourly workers paid weekly: No change, as 29th February doesn’t affect the 7-day week.
  • Hourly workers paid monthly: They’ll receive extra pay for working an extra day (21 instead of 20).
  • Salaried workers: No extra pay, as their annual salary covers all working days (usually divided equally per month). However, unions argue for fairness as employers gain an extra day’s work.

Employers should:

  • Check contracts: The answer “it depends” largely on the employment contract.
  • Ensure NMW/NLW compliance: Pay must meet minimum wage for all hours worked, including on 29th February.
  • Address near-minimum wage salaries: Top up pay if additional hours push salaried workers below minimum wage.
  • Consider time off in lieu: This could mitigate minimum wage issues and employee concerns.
  • Communicate changes: Inform employees beforehand if pay timing changes due to a later payday.

Employees cannot refuse to work on 29th February if it’s a normal working day, however, contact us on 0161 603 2156 or at [email protected] to see how we can help with queries like this and help your business flourish.

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If you'd like to find out more about how Supportis can help your business flourish then give us a call on 0161 603 2156 or send us an email.

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