Payroll Calendar: Biweekly Pay Periods in 2022
As HR prepares for the new year, it’s key to stay ahead of the curve on important dates and compliance requirements. Unlike last year, 2022 will have the usual 26 pay periods for those being paid bi-weekly. That said, there are some employees who are paid on a monthly basis receiving only 12 paychecks a year, while others are paid weekly receiving up to 52 paychecks in a given year. Read on to learn about these different pay structures, and which one is best for your organization.
What Is a Pay Period?
A pay period is a recurring stretch of time that represents the days that an employee has worked and is compensated. Pay periods can be weekly, bi-weekly, and semi-monthly.
Every business needs to determine which payroll schedule is right for their company. But, it’s not always that simple. Small businesses must take into account the needs of the business and the needs of their employees before making their decision.
When employers weigh their options about which type of pay period to use for their team, it’s important to take into account the kinds of employees you have—and the cost, time, and resources they need to manage their payroll.
Monthly: Occurs once a month on a specific recurring date
Semi-monthly: Occurs twice a month on two specific recurring dates
Bi-weekly: Occurs every two weeks on a specific day of the week
Weekly: Occurs once a week on a specific day of the week
One important note to keep in mind is state compliance. While there are federal regulations that must be maintained by every employer, states also have their own compliance requirements that employers need to remain aware of. This differs by state, and employers would be prudent to gain full competency over these regulations to ensure compliance.
How Many Bi-weekly Paychecks Will There Be In 2022?
There are 52 Fridays in 2022, meaning that employees can expect 26 biweekly paychecks throughout the new year.
If you are paid every other Friday the first being on January 7th, then you will receive three paychecks in the months of April and September. That said, if you receive your first paycheck on January 14, you will have three paychecks in the months of July and December.
The Difference Between Bi-weekly and Semi-monthly Payroll
Semi-monthly involves paychecks being distributed on the 15th and the 30th of every month. However, there is a caveat to this. Should either of those dates fall on the weekend, the paycheck is then paid out on the preceding Friday. The upside to this pay period is that typically the paychecks are slightly higher due to there being 2 fewer paychecks throughout the year.
Bi-weekly involves being paid every other Friday. This provides employees with 26 paychecks per year as opposed to the 24 with semi-monthly. Payday is very consistent and allows for a more balanced pay schedule throughout the year.
What Payroll Schedule Is Best?
No one pays attention when you get payroll right, but it only takes one mistake to break HR’s reputation within your organization. And of course, it is crucial you remain fully compliant as well. When you consider these factors, It comes as no surprise that so many HR pros stick with the payroll practices and schedules they inherited from their predecessor.
But your payroll practices should be intentional, not inherited—especially when it comes to your pay schedule. Many organizations with a mix of exempt and nonexempt employees are already on a monthly or semimonthly pay schedule simply because that’s the way it has always been. In HR, that’s never a good reason to continue on with difficult measures.
After some consideration, a semi-monthly schedule may seem easier for calculating benefit deductions, however, the division of deductions on a biweekly schedule is not nearly as complicated as it first seems. You can use one of two methods:
divide your employer annual premium by 26 and deduct that from each biweekly paycheck
divide monthly premiums in half and deduct that from each biweekly paycheck—except for the “extra” check for those two months with three pay dates.
Though weekly works similarly, having to run payroll half as often still places bi-weekly at an overall advantage.
In addition, employees appreciate the ability to budget with the predictability of biweekly paychecks. Although all of the pay schedules we’ve covered offer regularity, semimonthly and monthly pay periods make it more difficult for nonexempt employees to budget when they’ve worked irregular hours for overtime pay. For non-exempt workers, having a more regular paycheck as well as a predictable one can offer the benefits of better spreading out payments, and managing overall income.
Employees also tend to enjoy the few months that offer 3 paychecks, which is exclusively associated with biweekly payment methods.
HR Calendar: What Else You Need to Know
There’s more to a new year than pay periods. Stay on track from January through December with this comprehensive 2022 HR calendar, featuring everything you need to know about major holidays, key compliance requirements, ACA deadlines, and more.
You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with 2022 payroll information and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:
BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
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