5 Leap Year Survival Tips – iBTR

5 Leap Year Survival Tips

October 4, 2023

2024 is a Leap Year. You know that fun, extra day in February that pops up every four years wreaking havoc on payroll schedules for workforces across the nation? Yep, it’s coming for us.

Depending on where February 29th falls in the week – which will be a Thursday in 2024 – your company’s pay schedule for the year may be significantly impacted and may even require an extra payroll cycle.

Here are five Leap Year Survival Tips to help you navigate the impact to your payroll:

1. Get ahead of this issue now – not later!

Since we are going into Renewal season for many employers, it’s important to consider how this will impact your technology set up for 2024. Be mindful of any shifts in your payroll schedule due to the Leap Year, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any gotchas with payroll integrations. Also start thinking about how you will communicate the change to your workforce, as well as any other technology impacts that you will need support with.

2. Look at your employees’ paychecks and ask, “How will this extra day impact their pay?”

Leap Year can cause year-over-year fluctuations in the number of deduction periods. As a result, the deductions employees see taken out of their paycheck can be impacted, which may cause confusion or concern about tax implications, benefits premiums, and more. Arm yourself with as much information as possible so you’re ready for employee questions when they come to you.

3. Consider a preventative shift in your payroll schedule.

If Leap Year impacts your pay schedule to the point of concern, iBTR recommends skipping the deductions that would normally occur during that additional pay period. If that is not possible, then consider skipping deductions from the last pay period of the year. Just make sure you communicate to your workforce about any changes!

4. Deduction Consistency is key to long-term success.

Shifting your deductions will bring long-term consistency over the following three years, as well as set you up for success when the next Leap Year rolls around. Bouncing around with deductions is a tricky game that can cause a lot of headaches for employees and administrators. Skipping a deduction is typically the cleanest approach to handling a Leap Year shift in payroll.

5. Employees get a “Deduction Vacation” for a pay cycle!

We’ve seen employers get creative with how they communicate the skip in payroll deductions due to Leap Year: calling it a “Deduction Vacation” is our favorite way to let employees know they will keep a little more money in their pocket. You can communicate with a paycheck stuffer, automated messaging from your Payroll/BenAdmin system, and a ton of other ways.

Developing a proactive strategy for Leap Year NOW will help your team stay in front of any issues Leap Year may cause. iBTR has strategized with many clients from various industries about how to handle Leap Year. The best solution is always a proactive one.

If your team has questions about the risk Leap Year may pose for your payroll schedule, please reach out to us. Our experts are ready to help you navigate Leap Year and prevent payroll chaos.

Start your journey with iBTR today – info@ibtr.com.


Kellie Aisenstark is the bswift Team Lead for iBTR’s Benefits Administration division, overseeing the implementation and service of over 400 bswift clients. Kellie has over 10 years’ experience in the industry, project managing teams deploying technology solutions. She is committed to making every interaction count by improving the overall workforce experience through partnership with employers and brokers.

Email Kellie at kaisenstark@ibtr.com