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

The Local France
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Do workers in France get paid for an extra day during leap years?
An illustration photo of a person working at France's Pôle Emploi in 2009 in Dijon, France (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

French workers are entitled to a lot of perks, but what about an extra day of payment during leap years?


This year is a leap year - or an année bissextile - meaning there are 366 days in the calendar instead of the usual 365.

Unfortunately, for most French workers, the extra day worked on February 29th will not translate to extra pay in their February pay packet.

In France, most employees (salariés) are paid on a monthly basis according to their yearly salary, as outlined in their work contract.

This means that your gross salary per month stays the same, regardless of the number of days in that month. 

In fact, this is the official policy of France's ministry of labour.

In their page explaining 'mensualisation' (monthly payments), the ministry states that "in order to neutralise the consequences of the unequal distribution of days between the 12 months of the year, the French Labour Code provides for the payment each month of remuneration determined independently of the number of days in the month."

Benefits such as unemployment benefits or family allowances are paid out on a monthly system too, which utilises the same principle of 12 equal payments throughout the year.

READ MORE: How to understand your French payslip

Any exceptions?

There are some people in France who may get a little extra during leap years. Full-time workers whose contracts specify payment 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 get get extra.

There are, however, plenty of other perks to being a worker in France, including the 35-hour work week, subsidised travel expenses, at least 25 days of annual leave and restaurant meal vouchers.

READ MORE: 12 reasons to love working in France

Workers covered by the 35-hour week (which is by no means all employees in France, there are a lot of exceptions) can qualify for 'RTT days' which can almost double the standard annual holiday entitlement of 25 days.

Plus, French employees have the legal 'right to disconnect'.

While it's perfectly legal for your boss to phone or email you outside of working hours, you cannot be disciplined if you wait until working hours to respond to them.


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