Were you paid for working yesterday?

Did you get paid for the extra day you worked this Leap Year? Is it fair?

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AT6HFG Tear-off calendar with leap-day february 29th. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown. 2008; 29; calendar; calendar; sheet;

Monday is not anyone's favourite day of the week, and yesterday may go down as one of the worst of the year - because there's a chance you weren't paid for it.

The good news is that anyone who is paid by the hour or by the day will have been paid for yesterday - in the same way as they are for any other day of the year. However, those who are paid an annual salary won't have been paid any extra for the fact that 2016 has an extra day.

Assuming you didn't receive a pay increase last year, you'll be paid exactly the same amount for working 366 days in 2016 as you were for working 365 in 2015 - and therefore you won't have been paid for working 29th February.

It's one of the reasons why there has been some pressure for there to be a Bank Holiday on 29th February, with campaigners arguing that it's the only way to stop salaried people missing out on an average of more than £100 each.

To make matters even more unfair, banks don't usually take 29th February into account when they are working out our annual interest - so the banks are ripping you off too.

On the other hand

However, before you get too angry, you also need to factor in the things you pay for on an annual basis, and the fact you're not charged any extra for a longer February in a Leap Year. If you have a newspaper or gym subscription you're getting a day for free - and if you buy an annual travel card, you got yesterday's commute for nothing too.

There's also another way of looking at how you are paid. If you're paid per year rather than per day, there's no proof that you're paid for a 365 day year. Instead, you're paid for an average year of 365 and a quarter days. It means you're over-paid for any non-Leap Year, and this year has just been making up for it.

You could equally argue that we're all overpaid for February anyway. Most people on an annual salary are paid a twelfth of their annual salary every month, regardless of how many working days there are in the month. In February there were 21 working days (Monday-Friday) and in March there are 23 working days. You could argue that because we're getting just as much income for February as March, we are in fact being overpaid for February - even in a Leap Year.

Plus, of course, once you consider the amount of unpaid overtime most people work, February 29th is a drop in the ocean. According to the TUC, the average person works eight weeks a year of unpaid overtime - amounting to a total of £31.5 billion of free work a year. After we've given so many weeks of our time for nothing, what's one more day?

But what do you think? Do you feel ripped off by the Leap Year? Let us know in the comments.

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