Have you been eyeing that new, higher-paying job that could turn out to be your career? For younger workers moving into the salaried job world, the first question is usually: do salaried employees get paid if they do not work? When you are paid hourly it is easy to calculate how many hours you worked during a given pay period. But when you earn a salary, things can be a little bit different.

The fact is, when you earn a salary, you are paid the same amount no matter how many hours you work. This could mean that you do not work full 8-hour days and still get paid your salary. On the flip side, it could also mean you work more than an 8-hour day for the same amount of pay. 

Is there an advantage to being a salaried employee? Sure! It is an incentive to work harder and in a more efficient manner. If you are able to complete all of your work in only four hours, you still get paid your full salary!

Do Salaried Employees Get Paid if They Don’t Work?

You bet! Not having your day dictated by the clock is certainly a liberating feeling.  When you work as an hourly employee, you know that you will be at the office for eight hours each workday. Some people enjoy the structure of a schedule that you can set your watch to. There is nothing wrong with working at an hourly wage, especially since there are additional perks like being paid overtime for working longer than your allotted shift. 

Of course, the benefit of working a salaried job is being able to have control over your workday. These jobs often revolve around a larger project with no set amount of hours. This means that you can do as much or as little work as you want during a day as long as you meet certain deadlines or accomplishments. 

Shall we look at an example? On average, an hourly worker will be paid 40 hours of work each week. This is five days of eight hours of work. A salaried worker could work 40 hours but work nine hours per day from Monday to Thursday, and only work half a day on Friday. At the same time, if a salaried employee finished all of their week’s work in one day, then they can either work ahead or take it easy for the rest of the week!

When Would a Salaried Worker Not Get Paid for Not Working?

In theory, there isn’t a day of the year that salaried workers shouldn’t get paid. This includes things like paid vacation days and statutory holidays. It is a luxury of being paid a salary although be careful because some employers do you require you to work on certain holidays! 

Another grey area with certain employers is medical appointments. Check with your employer’s guidelines to see if you do get paid while at a medical or non-medical appointment. One would usually assume you get paid while at an appointment since you are a salaried worker, but always confirm this before scheduling one. 

Other than that, there really shouldn’t be any time in the year that you are not getting paid. Even if you are not actually working on a certain day, you will still get paid the salary for that day. Make sense? It is one of the benefits of being a salaried worker: even if you aren’t in an office working, you’re still getting paid.

Is it Better to Be a Salaried or Hourly Employee?

This will always depend on the worker themselves. Do you prefer to have more structure in your day or are you able to work on your own without worrying about the clock? One thing about working an hourly job is that there is no incentive to work harder or faster. Your eight hours are effectively tied to the office or work site you are at. 

If you like the freedom to be in control of your workdays and work at your own speed, then a salaried job might be for you. I know personally, I love the freedom to be able to work when I want and have the ability to plan work around my life, instead of planning my life around work. On the other side of the coin, it’s entirely possible that I end up working more than 8 hours a day. 

Salaried workers also get the freedom to do things in the middle of the day like grocery shopping or going to the gym. This can be beneficial because these places usually aren’t busy during working hours. Of course, some salaried jobs do require you to be present for things like meetings, but you definitely do not feel as restrained by an 8-hour workday.

The Bottom Line: Salaried Workers vs Hourly Workers

So to answer the question: yes, salaried workers do get paid when they are not actually working.

This is because a salary is a set amount of pay per pay period, regardless of if you work 40 hours or 140 hours in a week. While the flexibility of being able to work your own schedule is nice, be warned that often the workload will require you to work more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. 

Thanks for reading folks!

Geek, out.

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