52+ Sample Payroll Schedules

What Is a Payroll Schedule?

The first Monday of September marks the celebration of Labor Day in the United States. It is a federal holiday that honors the achievements of American laborers who made very significant contribution to the development of the country. Labor Day is still celebrated since its establishment as a federal holiday in 1894. Alongside this holiday, various associations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom also host a national awareness campaign known as National Payroll Week to give honor to payroll professionals. Without the employee’s efforts, an organization or corporate entity will never prosper. On the other hand, these employees would not receive the pay or compensation that is due to them in the absence of payroll professionals. Therefore, it is only rightful to recognize these individuals for their contributions.

In a company, payroll professionals or the human resource staff collect and calculate figures to pay the employees correctly and promptly. Aside from that, they also create several documents that will aid them in providing wages and salaries to the employees—one of which is a payroll schedule. As the name suggests, a payroll schedule is an important document in every human resources department in a company. It includes a list of the start and end date of a particular pay period as well as the payday. In a broader sense, a payroll schedule is a recurring schedule that determines how often a company pays its employees.


What Should be in a Payslip?

Aside from payroll scheduling, part of the payroll process is creating a payslip. It is one of the most important documents an employee will receive. Moreover, it is the employees’ right to have a detailed payslip before the company provides their regular wages. This note contains a record of a person’s salary and other important information in relation to their pay. Furthermore, the human resource department or payroll clerk can present a payslip through print or digital media. In this section, we have listed the crucial components of a payslip to help you create one for your business.

Employee Information: The first thing that should appear on a payslip is the employee’s information. It includes their names, and sometimes, their home address. As a payroll professional, one of your responsibilities is to make sure that the details you input in the payslip are updated. On another note, some companies include their company logo, name, address, contact number, and website URL in the document.Date: The date reflected in this document is not necessarily the day you sent the payslip to the employees. Usually, this information refers to the particular day when payment is credited to the employee’s respective bank accounts. Bear in mind that the employees should receive the payslip during payday or the day before it.Pay Period: The pay period is the days included wherein a company pays its employees for the tasks they carried out during working hours. Employees should be well aware of the specific time frame their pay covers. That is why it is important to indicate the starting date and end date of the pay period in their payslip.Gross Pay: Gross pay is the total amount of an employee’s earnings before incurring deductions. This includes their regular pay, allowances, overtime pay, night differential, bonuses, commissions, etc. However, note that this is not the actual amount an employee will have at hand. Although some of the cash deducted (e.g., health plans, insurances) from the employees’ paychecks are still theirs, employers place this amount into an account where the employees can make use of under specific conditions.Additional Payment: As previously mentioned, additional payments are part of the gross income. It is important to indicate this information in your payslip for the employees to have a clearer picture of how their pay is calculated. Moreover, it gives them an idea about the particular circumstances where they will receive an additional payment such as incentives and bonuses.Payroll Deductions: If an employee receives additional payments, there are also deductions incurred in their pay. Make sure to include the amount taken away from their salaries for insurances, retirement or health plans, and taxes levied on the employee’s earnings. Without this information in the payslip, employees will wonder and question on the allocations and subtractions of their overall pay.Tax Details: Aside from the types of payroll deductions, the payslip should be specific about the details in relation to the taxes. The following information should reflect on the document: National Insurance deductions, National Insurance number, tax period, and tax code.Net Pay: On the part of most employees, the net pay is the most important figure on the payslip. Net pay or take-home pay is the sum of cash credited to the employees’ accounts. It is the amount left after payroll deductions were made. As you may have noticed, the calculation of an employee’s regular pay begins with the gross pay until they come up with the net pay.

How Does a Company Choose the Best Payroll Schedule?

Data from the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 36.5% of businesses in the private sector pay their employees on a biweekly basis or once every two weeks. Meanwhile, 32.4% of the same sector pay their employees once per week. In addition, semimonthly and monthly pay periods are less common. Choosing a particular payroll schedule to implement is one thing and selecting the best one for your company is another. Also, note that a payroll schedule varies from company to company—depending on their respective needs and preferences. Here is a detailed description of the different types of payroll schedules and the reasons why you should (or should not) implement them in your company.

Weekly Payroll Schedule

A weekly payroll schedule or pay period equates to 52 paychecks over the course of a year. Usually, employees receive their pay every Friday—making it advantageous on their part. This type of payroll schedule will work best for companies that follow an hour-based pay structure. Moreover, it saves the payroll clerk from the hassle of collecting lots of information since it only covers a week of workdays. One of the stumbling blocks of a weekly pay period, though, is that it might be time-consuming to calculate each of the workers’ compensations especially when there are several pay adjustments.

Biweekly Payroll Schedule

A biweekly payroll schedule is often confused with the semimonthly payroll schedule due to its slight difference. However, a biweekly payroll schedule follows a more consistent payday than the semimonthly. With this kind of arrangement, employees receive payment once every two weeks or every other week, which amounts to 26 paychecks in a year. Usually, workers get two paychecks in a month and three for two months. With a biweekly payroll schedule, calculation of overtime compensation will be easier for payroll clerks or professionals.

Semimonthly Payroll Schedule

Compared to a biweekly payroll schedule, a semimonthly pay period has higher paycheck amounts since employees will receive 24 paychecks in a span of a year. Nevertheless, employees will receive two additional paychecks if they are paid on a biweekly basis, which means that these extra paychecks will make up the difference. Typically, paydays for this type of payroll schedule fall on the 1st and the 15th day of the month while other companies prefer to compensate their employees during the 15th and 30th day. In the event that these days fall on the weekends, employees will receive their pay during the closest weekday. One of the advantages of a semimonthly payroll schedule is that it comes with low processing costs. Furthermore, this will be the best choice if the company handles salaried employees.

Monthly Payroll Schedule

As the name implies, employees will receive one paycheck per month if the company implements a monthly payroll schedule. This means that there will be 12 paychecks by the end of the year. Compared to other types of payroll schedules, this type has the lowest processing cost on the part of the business. However, employees may experience financial strain since they only get to receive their salary at the end of the month. With this type of payroll schedule, managing finances and paying bills will be challenging on the part of the employees—making it the least preferred payroll schedule amongst all other options.

Before choosing a payroll schedule to implement in your company, you have to consider several factors first. This includes your employees’ welfare, the costs you will incur, and existing laws that regulate the pay schedule. In the United States, some state laws dictate how often companies should pay their employees. Regardless, the advantages and disadvantages of every type of payroll schedule are inevitable—you only have to select the one which will work best for your organization. Also, note that you could not just change the frequency of your pay period just because you like it. Therefore, you have to stick to one payroll schedule as much as possible.

How to Create a Payroll Schedule

Setting up a payroll schedule is a crucial process for every company. The payroll schedule establishes how frequent the employees will receive their compensation for the work they do and their contributions to the development of a company. Being such an imperative HR document, one should create a payroll schedule that is accurate and in line with the company’s payroll processes. Worry not! We won’t let you go through the process blindfolded. We have outlined a step-by-step guide you can follow to help you create a payroll schedule.

Step 1: Gather Employee Information

Before you start creating a payroll schedule, you first have to gather necessary information about the employees. By the end of your data gathering, you need to have a complete list of your employee’s names and other information needed for the payroll process like their departments and salary grade. Also, you can assign each employee a payroll number so that it will be easier for you to distinguish one employee from another.

Step 2: Select a Pay Schedule

In this article, we have discussed about the pros and cons of each pay schedule. To reiterate, four common types of pay periods are weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and monthly. Although minimizing the pay cycle helps companies reduce their cost and prevent the replication of the payroll process for the payroll professionals, you should also think about how the frequency of payment will affect your employees’ financial management.

Step 3: Create the Schedule

After finalizing the payroll schedule you will follow, you can already start creating your document. There is no other way to present a payroll schedule than in a tabular format. After launching an application of your preference, insert a table on the blank page. See to it that you provide columns for details regarding the pay number, start and end date of the pay period, payday, and deadline to submit time-sheets (if applicable). At the end of the year, the pay number should correspond with the number of paychecks an employee receives.

Step 4: Assess and Adapt

We have mentioned in this article that it is important to stick to one payroll schedule alone. However, it is also crucial to assess whether or not the chosen schedule has not caused any issues in your company. The payroll schedule should be mutually beneficial on the part of the management and the employees. If not, then maybe it’s time to make necessary changes in your schedule. If this happens, be certain that you communicate this information to every employee in your company.

Step 5: Avoid Discrepancies

As a human resource staff or a payroll clerk, you should be able to streamline the payroll process—make sure that you do this with minimal discrepancies. In addition to that, see to it that you adhere to the payroll schedule your company follows for the employees to receive their salaries and wages regularly and without fail.


No matter how many people say that we don’t need money to be happy. It is an undeniable fact that we actually need one to survive. For this reason, individuals engage themselves in a seemingly unending work-life cycle. They wake up, go to work, and receive payment for their efforts. On the part of the employers, giving out the right compensation indicates that the company recognizes the hard work of the stakeholders and dedicated staff. Moreover, it is also a way to acknowledge and address the basic needs of those who exerted effort and time to shape the company towards success. With this in mind, employers should make sure that they implement the best payroll schedule in their company.