Leap year day brings complications to salary computations

Do salaried employees get paid extra for working on Feb. 29?

Leap year day brings complications to salary computations

2024 is a leap year that provides us with an extra day, but some workers may not be paid even if they do work on Feb. 29, according to one expert.

While salaried employees who are paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis would get paid as usual for the extra day, those paid on the 15th and the end of the month may not, said Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR, in a CTV News report.

For these employees, Price said it might be "tough luck."

"If they have worked on Feb. 29, they would not be eligible for additional pay for this extra day unless their employment contract specifically provides otherwise.”

Meanwhile, workers paid by the hour will be earning more for working on the additional February day, he said.

"Hourly employees that work on Feb. 29 should be paid as per usual. This implies that they should be compensated for all actual hours worked, including the extra day in February, just like any other day.”

Minimum wage and leap year

Meanwhile, employers must be mindful of how they pay salaried workers earning minimum wage for that day, said Price in the CTV News report.

They should consider the extra day in salary computations to comply with provincial minimum wage legislation.

"A viable solution to this could be paying such employees for the extra hours worked or providing new employees with an annual wage slightly higher than minimum wage requirements,” he said.

"As a best practice, ensure you have documentation in place that accounts for the hours worked and hours paid to the employee."

Nurses and many other workers have been working extra hours – and even working when they shouldn’t – due to the cost-of-living crisis, according to a previous report.

HR consulting firm Peninsula also issued a reminder to employers regarding workers’ pay for Feb. 29.

“If an employee is paid a salary, they are not necessarily entitled to extra pay even if they work this extra day. Employees on salaries would only be entitled to extra pay on leap year if this was explicitly stated in their contract,” it said.

“However, if you do not pay your salaried employees for the extra workday, you must ensure that this does not send their overall pay below your province’s minimum wage requirement.” 

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