Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What is bi-weekly payroll?

Bi-weekly payroll is a payment schedule in which employees receive paychecks every other week, typically on a specific day of the week. Here's a closer look at the bi-weekly payroll:

Frequency: Employees receive paychecks every other week, resulting in 26 paydays per year (27 in leap years).

Payment Timing: Workers typically receive two paychecks per month, except for two months each year when they receive three paychecks.

Flexibility: Bi-weekly paydays can occur on any day of the week, providing flexibility to adjust the payment day temporarily if needed.

Comparison with Semi-monthly Payroll:

While bi-weekly payroll occurs every other week, semi-monthly payroll happens twice a month. The key difference lies in the frequency of payments.

Advantages of Bi-weekly Payroll:

Consistency: Fixed pay dates make budgeting easier for both employers and employees. More Frequent Paychecks: Bi-weekly pay provides a morale boost and builds trust, especially with the occasional "extra" paycheck. Easier Overtime Calculation: Hourly workers find it simpler to calculate overtime pay, receiving bonuses for overtime hours with each paycheck. Fewer Payroll Errors: A stable schedule reduces mistakes in payroll processing.

Disadvantages of Bi-weekly Payroll:

Smaller Paychecks: While pay frequency increases, individual paychecks may be smaller, potentially causing misconceptions about earning less. Complex Payroll Processing: Calculating payroll deductions can be trickier when two monthly payments span across two months. Increased Payroll Costs: Outsourcing payroll services may become more expensive due to the higher frequency of paydays.

Considerations for Implementing Bi-weekly Payroll:

Bi-weekly payroll is popular and generally suitable for businesses, particularly those with a mix of hourly and salaried employees. However, it's essential to consider factors such as employee preferences, HR needs, and payroll software capabilities when deciding on a pay frequency. Alternative pay periods include semi-monthly, monthly, and weekly payroll. Ultimately, the best payroll system for your business depends on various factors unique to your organization.

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