What is

Pay Period


Pay period refers to the range of time when an employee is tracked and paid. This is also known as a payroll period or payroll frequency.

What Is a Pay Period?

A pay period refers to the range of time when an employee is tracked and paid. This is also known as a payroll period, payroll frequency, or payroll schedule.

Different Types of Pay Periods

There are various pay periods around the world. This ranges from monthly, bi-weekly, semi-weekly, or weekly.


Employees receive their pay on a monthly basis, so there are 12 pay periods per year. The day on which employees receive their pay during the month is completely up to the employer. Many companies choose to adopt monthly pay periods because it’s convenient. 


Bi-weekly pay refers to employees being paid every two weeks. There is a set day every two weeks for when an employee is paid, like every second Thursday. Employees paid on a bi-weekly payroll period receive 26 paychecks per year.


Semi-monthly scheduled pay separates the month into two working blocks — the beginning of the month and the month's end. For instance, the first half of a semi-monthly pay period might run from August 1 to August 15, while the second half might run from August 16 to August 31. Employees paid on a semi-regularly scheduled payroll interval get 24 checks each year.


With this type of pay period, employees are paid on a weekly basis, generally on the same day, like a Friday. Employees paid on a weekly basis receive 52 pay-checks per year.

When setting up international payroll, knowing the pay period for the country where you’re hiring from is essential. Keep in mind the following factors:

  • Legal requirement of the country
  • Local standards 
  • The number of employees in the company
  • Industry of the company
  • The type of payment employees receive, such as hourly wages or salary
  • Your budget 
  • Employee’s position

When hiring employees abroad, especially in multiple countries, it’s hard to keep up with the regulations and laws surrounding pay periods. Rather than try and keep track of it yourself, work with Borderless. Borderless makes it easy to pay employees on time. Book a demo today.