Leap Year – How Does It Affect Salary and Leave of Absence?

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Leap Year – How Does It Affect Salary and Leave of Absence?</span>

Please be aware that this article primarily pertains to Swedish rules and regulations, which may not necessarily apply or be valid in jurisdictions outside of Sweden.

It’s that time again! Our shortest month gains an extra day, making the year 366 days. But how does this impact work, and are there considerations for employers? We delve into the workplace effects of the astronomical year not aligning with the calendar year.

Keeping the seasons in check – that's essentially what a leap year accomplishes. The astronomical year (the time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the sun) is approximately 365.25 days. Therefore, adjustments are necessary to prevent a gradual shift in seasons. Hence, an extra day is squeezed in every four years. Curious about whether, and if so, how this extra day affects salaries and other work-related conditions? Here's the answer!

  1. Possibly an extra jingle for hourly workers
    For those paid by the hour, this additional day, falling on a Thursday this year might be a welcome bonus. The leap day can mean extra income if the person works that day. However, it's a different story for those on monthly salaries scheduled to work on the 29th. It’s just an extra day of work, but unfortunately, there is no extra cash in the paycheck.

  2. Leave of absence has a slightly lesser impact on salaries
    Another aspect that might be affected is the deduction from salaries during absences, mainly if calendar day salary (in Swedish kalenderdagslön) is used. With calendar day salary, the month is divided based on the number of days, and the more days in a month, the lower the deduction for, say, sick leave. This means that a person who is sick for a day in February during a leap year will face a slightly lower deduction than a "regular" year.

  3. Holidays take an extra leap
    The leap day can also influence the placement of some public holidays. For example, the national day might fall on a Saturday or Sunday, causing those who work regular weeks to miss a day off (unless the collective agreement grants leave on another day). However, this is irrelevant in 2024, as the national day will fall on a Thursday. In total, the number of working days in 2024 will be exactly the same as in 2023, namely 251 days.

  4. Slightly less vacation for those not working the entire year
    Now, what about vacation – can paid leave be affected? The answer is yes, but marginally. To receive full paid vacation, you should have been employed for the entire vacation year. An employee who works part of the year earns vacation days according to the formula [employment days * annual leave/number of days in the year]. This means that those employed for part of the year will have slightly less vacation in a leap year compared to a regular year.

Did you know this about leap years?

  • In the general Western calendar (the Gregorian calendar), a year is a leap year if it is evenly divisible by 4, except at the turn of the century; then, the year is a leap year only if it is evenly divisible by 400.

  • Until 1999, in Finland and Sweden, February 24 was considered the leap day, but since the year 2000, the leap day falls on February 29.

  • In the olden days, leap day was the only day women could propose to men.

  • A leap year can also be referred to as an intercalary year or bissextile year.

Whether it's a leap year or not, our web-based payroll system, Flex HRM Payroll, makes payroll work easy! Contact us if you want to learn more! Sources: Arbetet.se Kollega.se

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