What is payroll in arrears?

When employees get paid is necessary to everybody at your enterprise. It’s necessary to workers as a result of it determines when they need to anticipate their wages and the way they need to funds their funds. It’s necessary to employers for a similar cause—it influences money move and budgets for the enterprise. That’s the reason it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of payroll schedules and associated terminology, like payroll in arrears.

Payroll schedules

A payroll schedule is a mix of a pay date and a pay interval. A pay date is simply what it appears like, it’s the day workers receives a commission. A pay interval is the time interval that the staff labored. 

Widespread payroll schedules 

There are three widespread payroll schedules: weekly, biweekly, and semi-monthly. Additionally it is doable to pay some staff month-to-month in some areas, however this isn’t widespread as the opposite three varieties of schedule. 


Weekly payroll means a pay date occurs as soon as per week, for a complete of 52 pay dates within the 12 months. The pay interval for a weekly schedule is per week lengthy, typically Saturday to Friday, however every enterprise can select the most effective interval that works for them. Pay day is usually on a Friday, however once more, each enterprise can choose what works for his or her scenario. Employers with hourly workers typically select a weekly pay schedule.


Biweekly payroll means a pay date occurs each different week, for a complete of 26 pay dates within the 12 months. The pay interval for a biweekly schedule is 2 weeks lengthy, and employers can select the times that work greatest for his or her enterprise. Pay day is usually on a Friday. Employers with hourly workers typically select a biweekly pay schedule. 


Semi-monthly payroll means a pay date occurs twice a month, for a complete of 24 pay dates within the 12 months. The pay interval for a semi-monthly schedule is often the first to the fifteenth of the month and the sixteenth to the final day of the month. Pay days are often on the fifteenth and final day of the month. In fact, as a result of some months are longer than others, that signifies that the precise variety of days within the pay interval can change with a semi-monthly pay schedule. For that cause, employers with salaried workers typically select a semi-monthly pay schedule.

Payroll in arrears

Having a delay between the pay interval and the pay date is usually known as payroll in arrears. It refers to the truth that the worker is working for a set interval and agrees to be paid after that interval ends. 

The phrase arrears actually means, “an unpaid and overdue debt.” However when individuals discuss payroll in arrears, they’re referring to the truth that workers could have a pay date that’s after their pay interval has ended. 

So whereas the employer does owe the worker cash for his or her time labored, payroll in arrears is authorized (with some affordable restrictions), and in reality, typically the expectation for hourly workers.

States decide acceptable payroll schedules for workers. Usually that is executed by worker sort. So salaried workers may have one algorithm, and hourly workers may have one other algorithm. 

For instance, in California some salaried workers could be paid on a month-to-month schedule, whereas hourly workers should be paid at the very least twice a month. Moreover, workers on a weekly or biweekly pay schedule should be paid inside seven calendar days of the top of the pay interval. 

In addition they have extra specs for sure industries, just like the movement image trade. These state guidelines exist to guard workers and guarantee they’re paid in a well timed vogue after finishing work for a enterprise. 

Earlier than you choose a pay schedule for your enterprise, you will need to examine any relevant legal guidelines in your state. 

Select the fitting pay schedule for your enterprise

Understanding pay schedule terminology is step one to choosing the fitting pay schedule for your enterprise. Many companies with hourly staff select a weekly or biweekly pay schedule with arrears. 

Many companies with salaried staff select a semiweekly pay schedule with out arrears, as their workers wages don’t change every pay interval. And companies with each varieties of staff can choose to have a number of pay schedules or create one grasp schedule that works for everyone.

In the event you’re searching for a payroll provider that may deal with your hourly staff’ pay schedule, look no additional than Homebase. We’re optimized for hourly groups which have advanced schedules and want to verify payroll will get executed proper. 

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