2024 is a leap year and it turns out you don't need to work on Feb 29th - Say this to your boss
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2024 is a leap year and it turns out you don't need to work on Feb 29th - Say this to your boss

Do I put my 'out of office' on now or...?

I wish we were joking when we say it's been revealed Kiwis don't get paid for the extra day of work we put in every leap year, but now a New Zealand employment lawyer has just confirmed we actually don't need to work on Feb 29th.

Yep, every four years we are working a whole extra day than what our salaries account for… That's news to us!

Honestly, we’re feeling ripped off already. So, wtf can we do about it? 

Employment law expert Max Whitehead has spilled on what you can do to get out of work on the 29th. 

“Generally, salaried employees get paid the same rate of pay all the way through, and that’s every year [leap years included],” Ben told our mates at More FM.

When asked if we should just take the day off to make up for our skipped pay, Whitehead brought a better idea to the table: “The court said a salaried employee doesn’t have to work extra hours if they don’t want to.”

“Imagine if this whole nation of ours, everyone who earns a salary decides ‘we’re not working on Thursday,” he added.

Of course, we had to cheekily ask if the big bosses could pull staff up for choosing not to work on Thursday. And it turns out, legally, they can’t!

Whitehead explains: “That’s what the court said… They can’t be forced to do it, so you can say no."

Some NZ workplaces might find themselves down a few employees at the end of this month now that this major loophole has been exposed. However, Whitehead doesn't think much will be done to compensate those who do choose to work.

“I think [Kiwi companies] will stick with the loophole. If you think about it, it’s minute money. Some companies might be [paying employees for the day], but I doubt it,” he said.

You might be thinking, 'It's not acceptable for companies to get away with not paying employees for a full day of work.' Whitehead agrees but doesn’t believe that any workplace is doing it deliberately. 

So, how do we feel about this? Will you be hitting up your boss for some extra cash, take the day off, or are we prepared to continue to let it slide?