Christmas Pay Dates

It’s that time of year when employers, who normally pay towards the end of the month, are making the decision… do we bring the pay date forward to before Christmas.

admin By admin - 03.12.2022

…'Tis the season to be jolly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la…

As an employer, you want to do what’s best for your employees.  The decision of whether to bring the December payment day forward, so employees get paid before Christmas, has two arguments though, and quite often two camps amoung the employees, so you may have someone not happy, either way…

You either…

Bring the payment date forward and pay your employees on an agreed date before Christmas.  This means employees get paid before Christmas, and can use their December pay on any final things for the Christmas celebrations, or for hitting the boxing day/January sales.  But… this means a longer wait until they get paid again in January.


You pay them as usual, at the end of the month.  Employees have to wait, as normal, for their December pay.  But this means they are less likely to spend as much of their pay on final Christmas celebrations (that they may not need), and they won’t have such a long wait until they get paid again in January.

It’s a big decision… pay early and risk beans on toast dinners for your employees on the run up to the January pay, adding to the January Blues, or pay as normal and risk upsetting employees, as they haven’t got as much money for the Christmas celebrations. 

Whatever you decide, remember that even if you are paying your employees early, you still need to put the normal pay date when processing the payroll and submitting to HMRC.  A large portion of the working population is in receipt of Universal Credit, as well as actively working.  Changing the pay date when processing the December payroll can disrupt the calculations used in working out how much Universal Credit someone is entitled to.  A reference period is used to calculate the amount due.  If an additional payment is added in, then the individual’s entitlement may be calculated as less, or if a payment is missed out, then the employee may receive more benefits than they are entitled to.

Merry Christmas!

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