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Weekly, Biweekly, Semimonthly, or Month-to-month Payroll

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Pay frequency is likely one of the first selections you will need to make if you rent your first worker. In case you haven’t thought of payroll frequency, now’s the time to start out. Worker satisfaction, authorized compliance, and money move might rely upon it.

In case you’re asking your self what’s pay frequency, no worries. You’re probably already conversant in it (even should you don’t comprehend it by its official time period). Regardless, we’ve obtained you lined. 

Learn on to study:

  1. What’s pay frequency?
  2. Pay frequency choices intimately 
  3. How to decide on a fee frequency

What’s pay frequency? 

Pay frequency, or payroll frequency, is how usually you pay staff. Your pay frequency additionally determines how usually you will need to run payroll. There are 4 fashionable pay frequencies to select from: Weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and month-to-month.

Your frequency determines the variety of paychecks an worker receives in a yr. This influences every paycheck’s wage and tax quantities. Nonetheless, pay frequency doesn’t influence an worker’s annual tax legal responsibility or web pay (over time, all of it equals out). 

As a result of it determines how usually you run payroll and pay staff, the frequency you select also can influence your:

  • Time dedication: Operating payroll by hand takes time. The extra steadily you pay staff, the extra time you spend operating payroll. 

Cash: Wish to save time operating payroll through the use of software program? Nice! However, some payroll software program corporations cost you primarily based on the variety of payrolls you run every month.

With Patriot Payroll, it can save you your time AND cash!

  • Run payroll in below 3 minutes
  • Run limitless payrolls for a similar low value
  • Select between all pay frequencies (weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, month-to-month)

Pay frequency choices intimately

Pay frequency which means? Verify. Now, it’s time to take a look at every of the 4 choices—weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and month-to-month—intimately. 


Beneath a weekly pay frequency, staff obtain their wages every week. An worker paid weekly receives 52 paychecks per yr.

Every paycheck is much less cash and extra frequent than different frequency choices. You will need to run payroll extra usually than with any of the opposite frequencies.

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33.3% of staff obtain weekly paychecks, making it the second hottest frequency. 


With a biweekly pay frequency, you pay staff each different week. Workers who get biweekly wages obtain 26 paychecks per yr. 

Workers obtain their wages the identical day of the week every pay interval, like on a Friday. Sometimes, staff obtain two paychecks every month. Nonetheless, there are two months within the yr when staff obtain three paychecks as an alternative of two (so plan your funds accordingly!).

Based on the BLS, 43% of staff obtain their wages biweekly, making it the preferred pay frequency. One cause for the recognition is that biweekly pay is a cheerful medium between weekly and month-to-month pay frequencies. 


It may be straightforward to confuse semimonthly pay frequencies with biweekly schedules. Beneath each frequencies, staff obtain wages twice per 30 days with each (for essentially the most half). However, there are a number of key variations between biweekly vs. semimonthly pay. Beneath semimonthly pay, staff obtain 24 paychecks per yr. 

With a semimonthly pay frequency, you pay staff on particular dates, however the days would possibly differ. For instance, you’ll be able to pay an worker on the fifteenth and thirtieth of every month. These dates can fall on any day of the week.

A semimonthly pay frequency will be troublesome for employers and staff to trace. Workers can obtain their wages on a Tuesday or a Friday, all relying on the day the date falls.

Semimonthly pay frequencies are the third hottest fee possibility. Nineteen p.c of staff obtain their wages on a semimonthly foundation. 


In case you pay staff month-to-month, they obtain one paycheck per 30 days. An worker paid month-to-month receives 12 paychecks per yr.

Month-to-month paychecks are for bigger quantities of cash however are much less frequent than different frequencies. Month-to-month paychecks could make monetary planning troublesome for some staff.

Solely 4.7% of staff are paid month-to-month, making it the least frequent pay frequency. 

pay frequency options: weekly has 52 paychecks per year, and employees receive pay once every week. biweekly has 26 paychecks per year, and employees receive wages once every other week. semimonthly has 24 paychecks per year, and employees receive their wages twice per month. monthly has 12 paychecks per year, and employees receive wages once per month.

How to decide on a fee frequency 

Each enterprise is totally different. Earlier than you create a pay frequency schedule, think about the next 4 components:

  1. Pay frequency legal guidelines
  2. Your staff
  3. Your business
  4. The way you run payroll

1. Pay frequency legal guidelines

Are there pay frequency legal guidelines you must observe? Sure—and no. 

There is no such thing as a federal regulation that claims what frequency you will need to select. Nonetheless, you will need to hold a constant frequency. You can’t change up an worker’s frequency if you really feel prefer it.

Pay frequency necessities by state decide what pay frequencies you’ll be able to and may’t use. Most states set a minimal frequency you will need to observe. For instance, Arizona requires that employers pay staff two or extra days per 30 days, no more than 16 days aside. 

So earlier than deciding on frequency, examine together with your state legal guidelines.

2. Your staff

What number of staff do you’ve gotten? Are your staff salaried or hourly? These employee-related components might influence the frequency you go along with.

Variety of staff: Based on the BLS, employer measurement can decide pay frequency. For instance, 70% of companies with 1,000+ staff use biweekly, in comparison with 34.9% for companies with one to 9 staff. 

Hourly vs. wage: The kind of staff you utilize also can have an effect on what you are promoting’s payroll frequency. You possibly can set up totally different pay frequencies for wage vs. hourly staff (though this would possibly get complicated should you run payroll by hand).

3. Your business

What business is what you are promoting in? For some corporations, business determines your frequency. Sure industries are likely to pay weekly, whereas others are likely to pay month-to-month. 

Based on the BLS, 73.9% of building employers pay staff utilizing a weekly schedule. However, solely 7.1% of employers within the monetary actions business run weekly payroll. 

4. The way you run payroll

How do you run payroll? By hand? Utilizing software program? 

In case you run payroll by hand, shorter pay frequencies (i.e., weekly) require extra payroll runs, which takes up extra time and power. 

Payroll software program can considerably in the reduction of the time you spend operating payroll. However once more, some corporations have further charges and cost per payroll run. You would find yourself paying extra to run weekly payrolls than operating biweekly, semimonthly, or month-to-month payrolls. 

Want a approach to hold your payroll below management? With Patriot’s on-line payroll, you pay per worker, not per paycheck. So go forward and run limitless payrolls—we gained’t cost extra! Get your free trial immediately.

This text has been up to date from its authentic publication date of October 30, 2014. 

This isn’t meant as authorized recommendation; for extra info, please click on right here.


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