Leap day brings €184m windfall for employers
IRISH companies are expected to gain €184m this year from the extra hours of free labour on Leap Day.
While those paid by the hour will add to their income tomorrow, February 29, workers on an annual wage will have to settle for the same pay as they received last year despite the extra hours.
The additional February date may be unwelcome for workers, but it will be a boon for companies which can expect a windfall of around €184m as a result.
Macdara Doyle, a spokesperson for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, remarked that the issue of unpaid work had been highlighted in 2008, during the last Leap Year.
However, he said there had been no significant improvement in the workers' situation since then. "The situation has not changed for salaried workers, but with lack of demand crippling the economy, perhaps an end-of-month contribution from employers might help boost spend in the domestic economy," Mr Doyle said.
Meanwhile, the chief economist with financial services group Friends First, Jim Power, noted that given the country's financial difficulty, salaried workers should be glad to contribute to the economy.
"Employers need everything they can get at this juncture, given the tough economic climate," Mr Power said.
"Workers should regard this as a small sacrifice to make in order to help keep businesses trading."