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Do workers in Germany get paid for an extra day during leap years?

The Local Germany
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Do workers in Germany get paid for an extra day during leap years?
Office workers having a meeting. Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

February is 24 hours longer than usual this year - does this mean that workers in Germany can also pocket an extra day of pay?


2024 is a Schaltjahr, or leap year, meaning that there are 366 days in the year versus the normal 365.

Some people in Germany may finally be celebrating their birthday or wedding anniversary four years later. Others might also wonder if they can pocket an extra day of pay thanks to the extra day in the middle of the work week.

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Schaltjahr

The short answer is: it depends on the type of work.

"If you receive a monthly salary, you work one day longer than in a normal February - without being paid extra,” Lena Kamionka from FinTech company Anyfin told t-online. “Those who are paid per hour, on the other hand, have more money in their coffers in a leap year."

Salaried vs. wage work

That means that full-time workers whose contracts specify wages by the hour will take home a little extra in February during a leap year versus a normal year, as they worked 29 days instead of 28.

Likewise freelance staff or contractors who are paid a day rate would take home a little bit extra.

However, Festangestelle (employees who receive a salary) can’t count on the extra pay.

In any case, it's important to note that the terms "salary" and "wage" are not synonyms - even if they are used colloquially in this way. In general, salaries are paid out by the month whereas wages are by the hour.

However, it's possible that the wage does not depend on the hours worked, but on the number of units produced. In this case, an extra day in February does not necessarily mean more money. 

READ ALSO: The 'special' days when workers in Germany can get paid time off


What about other expenditures?

For those who receive a monthly salary, they have to bridge one extra day until their next salary in March.

"You also have to eat, heat and use electricity on this day, which has a direct impact on your bank account," said Kamionka. "At the same time, virtually everything you pay for each month is free on leap day." 

For example, there is no increase in rent in a February with 29 days.

But other costs can creep up: If you have a loan or are paying in instalments, the extra day will result in slightly higher interest rates. 

"Over the year as a whole, the additional interest amount is around 0.3 percent higher. Depending on the amount of the loan, this is either negligible - or can make a considerable difference." 


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