Will you get paid before Christmas and can your employer pay you early? Your rights explained
CHRISTMAS could mean you get paid on a different day this month – but does it mean you’ll get your wages early?
We explain how this works, and why getting paid in advance might not actually be a good thing.
Christmas can be a financially stressful time of the year, so it’s understandable that some employers will want to pay staff early.
There are also three bank holidays to consider – Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – which will also likely impact your pay date.
Will I get paid before Christmas?
It's ultimately up to your employer to decide if they’ll pay you before Christmas Day.
This might apply to workers who usually get paid weekly, or those whose pay date falls after the 25th of each month.
Your rights if you’re working over the festive period
Workplace and employment advisers ACAS explain your rights if you work over Christmas.
- Your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage.
- There is no entitlement to extra pay such as time and a half or overtime pay, though many workplaces do offer this, so check your contract or speak to a manager.
- Your employer does not have to give you time off on a bank holiday or at Christmas if they're not included in your holiday entitlement – this is the same whether you work full time or part time.
- Your employer can also make you take your holiday on bank holidays or at Christmas, if for example, the business is shut on these days.
However, while getting paid early might seem like a good thing, it does mean you'll have to make your money last longer going into January.
For example, if you get paid one week early in December, and you get a monthly wage, you'll be waiting five weeks instead of four weeks until your January pay.
Andrew Johnson, money expert at the Money and Pensions Service said: “Although it’s quite common for companies to pay their staff early at Christmas, employers aren’t obliged to.
“If your pay date falls on one of the Christmas bank holidays, you can be paid on the last working day beforehand.
“Although getting paid early at Christmas may seem like a good thing, it can cause money issues later on in January if you don’t budget.”
Tom Neil, Acas senior adviser, added: “Employers should make sure their staff know exactly what this means, and how long they will have to wait until their next pay day, which may not be until the end of January.
“It is important for both employees and employers to understand this, to avoid financial difficulties in the weeks that follow.”
If you claim Universal Credit, you should also check when you are scheduled to be paid as this could potentially affect how much you will be entitled to next month.
If your employer won't pay you early, you could ask for a salary advance, sometimes known as payroll borrowing.
This essentially lets you access your salary as your earn it, rather than having to wait for payday.
But you should only consider this if you're really struggling, as you'll pay a fee to use this type of service.
This can typically be between 0% to 5% of the money you're accessing early.
Your next pay packet will also be smaller, as you've already been paid some of your earnings.
As a salary advance isn't considered a loan, you're not credit checked when asking for one and you don't pay interest.
Not all companies offer salary advances, so check in with your HR to see what options are available.
Will I be paid on the Christmas bank holidays?
If your pay day falls on one of the Christmas or New Year bank holiday days, or on a weekend, you could get paid earlier or later.
This is because your employer can choose to pay you on the previous or next working day.
The bank holiday days to take into account are December 25, December 28 and January 1.
December 28 is a replacement bank holiday day for Boxing Day (December 26) as this falls on a Saturday this year.
If your pay day falls on the 25th, 26th, 27th or 28th of each month, you should get paid on December 24 or December 29.
It's best to chat to your employer to see if they'll pay you before or after.
Similarly, if you usually get paid on the 1st of each month, you may get paid on December 31 or January 4.
January 2 and 3 fall on the weekend.
If you're working over Christmas and New Year, we've explained your rights to extra pay or time back.
Plus, Christmas Universal Credit, PIP and other benefit payment dates have been announced.
Christmas jobs 2020: How to earn extra cash working for Tesco, Royal Mail and Amazon.
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