An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Biweekly Pay

What is Biweekly Pay?

Biweekly pay describes when employees are paid every other week on a specific day of the week. For example, if you want to establish a biweekly pay schedule, you might choose to pay your employees every other Friday. Since every calendar year has 52 weeks, this results in a total of 26 paychecks per year.

What Are the Benefits of Biweekly Pay?

Biweekly pay is advantageous for both employees and HR.

For employees, biweekly pay helps them:

For HR, biweekly pay helps:

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Which Industries Use Biweekly Pay?

Over thirty-six percent of U.S. businesses pay their employees biweekly. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), these are the three industries that most commonly use biweekly pay:

Before making any decision about how often you pay employees, check your state’s payday requirements from the DOL as some states require more frequent pay intervals.

What Is the Difference Between Biweekly and Semi-Monthly Payrolls?

The key difference between biweekly and semi-monthly pay lies in how often pay dates occur. Biweekly pay dates occur every other week, and semi-monthly pay is paid out on two specific dates a month (e.g. every 5th and 20th of the month).

Other significant differences include:

Biweekly Pay

Semi-Monthly Pay

Are There Disadvantages to Biweekly Pay?

A biweekly pay period is generally a good option for businesses, especially those with a mix of hourly and salaried employees. However, it’s beneficial for any company to consider all the angles before deciding on a payroll schedule. The following are several drawbacks to a biweekly pay period:

Does Biweekly Pay Affect Taxes?

An employee’s tax liabilities won’t be affected by the length of their pay period. Total tax liability is based on the total amount earned in a year rather than on paycheck frequency. The same is true for payroll taxes on the employer’s end.

The taxes taken out of each paycheck will be different for weekly, biweekly, and monthly pay periods, but the overall amount ends up the same.

How Is Biweekly Pay Calculated?

To calculate biweekly pay for an hourly employee, multiply the number of hours worked in a two-week period by the hourly rate. If employees want to check their hourly rate based on their gross pay, they simply divide the payment amount by the total number of hours worked.

For example, a worker who earned 2,000 dollars and worked 80 hours in two weeks has a rate of 25 dollars per hour, since 2,000 ÷ 80 = 25.

For salaried employees, pay is often based on a set annual amount. Thus, an employee with a fixed salary of 50,000 dollars will get a paycheck of around $1,923.08 biweekly since the gross annual salary will be divided by 26 paychecks (50,000 ÷ 26 = 1,923.08).

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