What is

Bi-weekly Payroll


Bi-weekly payroll refers to a pay schedule where employees receive payment for their services every 2 weeks. Read the full glossary definition from Borderless.

There are different ways to run compensation for employees. In some countries, the payroll periods are set out by the labor code. In others, there is more flexibility. One common interval for payroll management is bi-weekly payroll. This means that employers pay their staff or contractors every two weeks (or 14 days). 

Defining Bi-Weekly Payroll

Bi-weekly payroll refers to a pay schedule where employees receive payment for their services every two weeks. Usually, employers make the payments on a specific day of the week. 

It is important to distinguish bi-weekly payroll from semi-monthly payroll. The former refers to payments made every two weeks. Semi-monthly payroll means payments go out on the 15th and 30th of the month. 

  • Bi-weekly payroll takes place every two weeks, so, there are 26 paychecks per year.  
  • Semi-monthly payroll follows a fixed schedule. Employees receive their paychecks on the same day of the week every pay period. 

Advantages of Bi-Weekly Payroll

Bi-weekly payroll offers a reliable and predictable payment schedule for both employers and employees. It provides the advantage of regular income while minimizing administrative complexities for employers. 

Regular Income
Bi-weekly payroll provides employees with a consistent and reliable income stream. By receiving paychecks every two weeks, employees can better plan and budget their expenses. This can make it easier for them to meet financial obligations than monthly payments. 

Simplicity for Employers
Bi-weekly payroll is easy and simple to manage. Employers will find it easy to keep records and there are fewer administrative burdens because of the relatively frequent payment cycles. 

Overtime Calculation
In many countries, for full-time employees, the bi-weekly payroll covers exactly 80 standard working hours. In others, it might cover more or less depending on local regulations about standard working hours. 

If employees work overtime, it’s easy to calculate the excess. This reduces the complexity of tracking and calculating overtime hours and associated pay rates.

Considerations for Employers and Employees

While there are several advantages to a bi-weekly payroll, there are a few aspects of timing and budgeting to keep in mind. 

Understanding these will help employees effectively manage their finances and make the most of their bi-weekly paychecks. Meanwhile, employers can ensure streamlined payroll processing. 

Since each month is not actually made up of four weeks, there can be slight fluctuations in paydays and monthly income. Employees should be aware of this and plan their finances accordingly, especially when budgeting for expenses.

While bi-weekly payroll provides regular income, some employees may find it challenging to budget effectively over a two-week period. It requires discipline and careful planning to ensure funds are allocated appropriately.

Payroll Cycles and Expenses
Employees must be mindful of their pay cycle and adjust their budgeting strategies accordingly. For instance, they should be mindful of expenses that don’t align with the pay cycle. 

Some labor codes dictate very specific requirements for payroll frequency. It’s key for employers to understand the local legislation and pay employees accordingly. In some cases, this will mean employers cannot follow a bi-weekly payroll schedule. 

Streamline Your Global Payroll with Borderless 

At Borderless, we are experts at everything to do with global payroll. We understand compliance in over 170 countries around the world and help you properly pay international employees. We also streamline payroll processes through our easy-to-use, one-stop platform. Book a demo to learn more.