How to calculate dates for bi-weekly payroll

Written by grace ferguson
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How to calculate dates for bi-weekly payroll
A biweekly payroll occurs every two weeks. (old calendar image by Allyson Ricketts from

The most common pay cycles are weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and monthly. Many employers chose a biweekly payroll because it is easier to calculate for both hourly and salaried workers. A biweekly payroll has 26 pay periods in the calendar year, in which employees receive two paychecks for 10 months and three paychecks for two months. You can successfully process a biweekly payroll as long as you understand how to calculate the dates and pay employees accordingly. A biweekly payroll occurs every two weeks; more commonly every other Friday.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decide what date to begin your pay schedule. Keep in mind that hourly biweekly employees are typically paid a week or a few days lag. They are paid based on hours worked; consequently, to allow enough time for payroll processing, the employer generally pays them for hours worked up to a certain point.

    For instance, for pay date Friday, June 25, 2010, the pay period dates may include hours worked from Sunday, June 6, through Saturday, June 19. Notably, the pay period usually begins on a Sunday and ends on the Saturday of the following week.

  2. 2

    Pay salaried biweekly workers a fixed wage each pay period. For instance, for pay date Friday, July 23, 2010, the salaried worker is paid his full salary for pay period dates Sunday, July 4, through Saturday, July 17. If he terminates, pay him on the next pay period for days worked through his termination date.

    For instance, say his last day worked was Tuesday, July 20. On pay date August 6, 2010, pay him for two full days (Monday, July 19, and Tuesday, July 20).

  3. 3

    Calculate involuntary deductions, such as taxes and wage garnishments, and voluntary deductions, such as 401(k) contributions and medical benefits, based on two weeks' pay.

Tips and warnings

  • You may create a payroll calendar depicting biweekly pay period start and end dates and the respective pay dates. Distribute the calendar yearly to supervisors and employees.

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