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Why do some companies pay early for Christmas?

78 replies

wondering7777 · 11/12/2019 15:11

The company I work for usually pays us on the 30th of the month, but in December we're getting paid a week early, so we get it before Christmas (on the 20th I think). I was wondering why companies do this - is it to:

A) Ensure that people get their salary before all the Christmas bank holidays so nobody misses a rent/mortgage payment

B) Give people a Christmas "treat" (i.e. more spending money at Christmas)

C) Make sure people get paid before the accounts team go on their Christmas break (although surely it's all automated nowadays anyway!)

Does anyone know?

OP posts:

Evilmorty · 11/12/2019 15:13

Every company I have ever worked for has done this, including big name charities. It’s just to make sure everyone has enough at Christmas?


PineappleDanish · 11/12/2019 15:15

Every company I've worked for has always done this too. Now I'm self-employed so things are different in that I get paid when clients bother to settle invoices....


EskewedBeef · 11/12/2019 15:16

Allows time for errors to be rectified before office closes. Gives employees a bit more spending power before Christmas.


kingsassassin · 11/12/2019 15:16

C here. January is even worse as a result.


Zzzz19 · 11/12/2019 15:16

Me too but I’m not sure why as it leaves me short in January!


icannotremember · 11/12/2019 15:17

My current employer was the first I have had who doesn't do this. I hated it the first year but prefer it now, the long run to end of January pay was always horrible.


StatisticallyChallenged · 11/12/2019 15:17

Our staff prefer it (small company so we gave them the choice) but in most cases option c


Singlebutmarried · 11/12/2019 15:17

Well if pay day is usually the 27/28 of the month then these can easily be bank holidays in December meaning that money may not be there in time for direct debits etc.

I get paid the same regardless, so I should get paid between Christmas and new year, just not sure when cos of the back holidays.


user1497207191 · 11/12/2019 15:18

It's historic from the days when wages were calculated manually and banks took a few days to process. With the traditional Christmas closedowns at factories etc., it all need sorting a few days before they finished for Christmas.


safariboot · 11/12/2019 15:18

Nearly always C I reckon. Companies doing this will be doing it because it's convenient for them, not because they think it might help employees.

It's detrimental for me because I'm paid hourly, meaning my December pay is early and small and I won't be back to normal until late January.

It really screws over people on Universal Credit, but I blame the government for that cesspool.


Hellohah · 11/12/2019 15:21

We close down over Christmas. No office staff are in... So there is nobody to do the payment run at the end of the month.


Babybel90 · 11/12/2019 15:22

I think it’s C


Blobby10 · 11/12/2019 15:25

We do this too - it's a hangover from the olden days when we used to pay weekly cash and everyone got a weeks pay in advance on the last working day as we shut between Christmas and New Year. We also used to pay a Christmas Bonus which was nice for staff to have just before Christmas .


DappledThings · 11/12/2019 15:25

I hate it. But in our case it's technically not early. We get paid on the last working day of the month so Friday 29/11/19, Thursday 31/10/19 etc.

We close entirely for Christmas so the last working day is earlier. This year it's Friday 20/12/19. Not nationally the last working day of the month but internally it is!


thecatsthecats · 11/12/2019 15:27

If you are paid a consistent salary monthly, I'm afraid I judge HARD if you are unable to manage that payment arriving 10 days early.

C) Make sure people get paid before the accounts team go on their Christmas break (although surely it's all automated nowadays anyway!)

You'd be surprised. Our bank (Hi Barclays!) consistently throw a spanner in the works with losing payee data, mistiming payments. Paying early ensures we don't have to rope in relevant staff in an emergency.


Ellybellyboo · 11/12/2019 15:29

We’re paying on the 20th this year, payday is normally the last working day of the month. Not back until the 6th Jan

Our payroll isn’t automated - I could do it on the 20th and set it to pay on the 31st but there’s no one here to check it goes through properly so any cock-ups/banking problems/whatever wouldn’t get sorted out until we re-open

Plus the workshop staff expect it and kick up a massive fuss if we don’t. The office staff are in on the 20th but workshop staff work a 4 day compressed week so break up on the 19th, and are already kicking up a massive stink they’re getting paid on the 20th instead of the 19th


TheTrollFairy · 11/12/2019 15:30

It’s so annoying to get it early. I take out bill money so we are fine in that respect but it leaves my ‘fun’ money to last a week longer


reginafelangee · 11/12/2019 15:30

We do it because

a) we are closed at Xmas so it easier to pay early than to schedule
b) staff want it - particularly those who don't want to use credit to fund Xmas

We also pay slightly early in January so as to stagger the gap between pay packets.


Myusername101 · 11/12/2019 15:30

I hate it, I've had to beg, literally beg my company to lay me as usual otherwise I'd get 2 payments in one month on my UC period and I would lose all UC the following month and have to reapply so it would cost me about £1000+ if they paid me on the 20th not the 28th.


Moominfan · 11/12/2019 15:32

My company stopped doing this because come jan people would be asking for advances


BerwickLad · 11/12/2019 15:32

I think it's a mixture of c) and the historic antecedents that other posters mention. We actually had a staff ballot on the matter this year and won't be doing it any more as the results said most people don't want it. We are open throughout the season apart from bank holidays (for various operational reasons) so it's fine to process as normal at the end of the month. Tbh I'm relieved as for me it was always difficult to budget/not overspend in that last frantic week before Xmas and the massive gap until next payday meant January was awful.


Oneofthosedreadfulparents · 11/12/2019 15:34

c) here too. I'll pay our wages on the 23rd, as that is the day before we close for the Christmas break, giving the opportunity to rectify any mistakes that would otherwise leave staff short over the holiday. Also gets payment sorted before the bank holidays so staff won't run into problems with direct debits etc.


ivykaty44 · 11/12/2019 15:34

I used to be paid before Xmas but although working in the same place it was changed some 5 years ago and reverted back to 31December

One year about 18 years ago they paid everyone twice on 20 December and that caused mayhem, many people struggled to go through till 28 Febywithout another pay deposit. Many hadn’t realised the extra money and just spent it


BrightYellowDaffodil · 11/12/2019 15:35

I’m guessing so that it’s so that everyone definitely gets paid at a time of bank holidays/office closures.

I never quite understand why people complain about it (UC aside) - my salary goes into a holding account (I only opened it to get a cash-back switching deal but it’s come in handy) and even if I’m paid early I don’t use it until my usual pay date.


msmith501 · 11/12/2019 15:35

With my company it's a mixture of all three. It's much easier to pay people early than risk any delays due to the holiday period and bank processes and a lot of people like getting their salary early to offset the cost of presents. It also means that the finance staff don't have to be in over the break to address any payroll issues.

... is there anyone who wouldn't want it early - provided of course that sensible budgeting comes into it (it's not an extra payment after all).

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