Pay Schedules

A pay period defines how often employees are paid (pay frequency) and how many regular paychecks they'll receive in a year. An employee's pay frequency will also determine the portion of monthly deductions that are taken from each paycheck.

Types of Pay Periods

Type Pay Frequency # of paychecks in year

Semi-monthly

Twice a month on two specific days of the month, e.g., 15th and 30th.

24 paychecks

Bi-weekly

Every two weeks on a specific day of the week, e.g., every other Friday.

26 paychecks

Weekly

Once a week on a specific day of the week, e.g., each Friday.

52 paychecks

Monthly

Once a month on specific date, e.g., 30th.

12 paychecks

Pay periods define the number of days of work for which each employee is paid on each paycheck.

Employees on a bi-weekly schedule are paid every two weeks on the same day of the week. Most most months will have two pay dates, but some months will have three.

Employees on a semi-monthly schedule are paid twice a month. These employees receive two paychecks a month.

A pay date -- the day on which workers are paid (paper checks are printed or direct deposit payments post to accounts) -- occurs after the payroll run date, which is the day on which an administrator runs payroll.

For example, if an administrator has a payroll run date of Monday, November 12, the pay date would be Friday, November 16 (assuming they have a 4-day block period).

How do I find when my payroll run date is?

First things first, you'll need to know if your company is on a 4 day or 2 day block period. This will be displayed on a banner on the Settings tab of your Payroll app.

Block Period

Once you know your block period, or payroll processing time, you can determine when your payroll run date will need to be in order to have your desired pay date. This will also be displayed in calendar format on the Overview page of the Payroll app. 

PayCalendar

So your payroll run date will be (at minimum) 2 or 4 business days prior to your pay date.

Can I change our block period?

If you are currently on a 4 day block period, you can contact Zenefits Customer Care to request a 2 day block period.

For bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly payroll, the normally scheduled pay date may fall on a weekend or a bank holiday. For weekly payroll, the normally scheduled pay date may fall on a bank holiday. 

When this occurs, the weekend rule can shift the pay date to either the Friday before or the Monday after the weekend. Any pay schedule set up in Zenefits must include your weekend rule. 

Companies who have hourly employees often choose a pay date that falls after a pay period ends in order to collect and approve hours for each employee and run payroll in time for the payroll due date.

Because many payroll providers require administrators to run payroll four business days before check date, many companies plan at least a week between the last day in each pay period and the check date for that period. These companies pay their employees for work performed in the previous week.

If you are using Zenefits Payroll and Time & Attendance, you must have at least seven days between the end of the pay period and your check date. 

Here are the requirements for using Zenefits Payroll with Time & Attendance.

  • All schedules must have 7 days in arrears.
    • This is to ensure your workers are able to report their hours and there is enough time to process payroll.
    • Additionally, this is the maximum number of arrears days allowed in California.
  • All schedules must have a 12-hour approval window for Time & Attendance because this is the only available window that will close before the payroll approval deadline, when there is an intervening weekend.  At this time, the 12-hour window cannot be altered.

  • Separate runs are generated for both hourly/salary non-exempt T & A workers vs. salary workers.

  • Hours entered after the Time & Attendance approval window ends must be manually added to payroll. Preview runs (generated for T&A) become Draft runs at  12  PM on the day after the pay period closes. At this point, hours entered into T&A will not push to payroll.
    • Any changes made in payroll will not sync back to T&A.
  • If there's a weekend or holiday in the block period, companies with a  4-day  period are temporarily moved to  2-day
  • The number of schedules you can have depends on whether you use Zenefits Payroll and Time & Attendance:
  • -If you don't use (or don't plan to use) Time & Attendance, you can set up one or two schedules.
  • If you do use (or plan to use) Time & Attendance, you must set up two schedules.

Please contact Zenefits Customer Care to make changes to a current pay schedule or move people from one schedule to another. Provide the following information, as applicable:

  • Which people you'd like updated (Salary, Hourly, Both)
  • Pay Frequency (Weekly, BiWeekly, SemiMonthly, Monthly)
  • Requested Check Dates (if BiWeekly, what day of the week)
  • Calendar days between the last day of your pay period and check date
  • If the check date lands on a holiday or weekend, how would you like it shifted (Before or After)
  • The next two pay periods and their corresponding check dates for your company, using the desired pay schedule.
If you are changing your company's pay schedule mid-year, it's important to note that this may result in the salary not aligning at the end of the year. To ensure the salary is paid out as defined in the worker profile, take into account any remaining pay periods and the salary remaining. Zenefits cannot assist with reconciling salaried employee pay.

If you're using Zenefits Pay Connect, simply update in your payroll system, and Zenefits will detect the change and carry it over to Zenefits.

If you're using Zenefits Pay Connect Checklist, you can update this on your own via the Settings tab of the Pay Connect app.

In Zenefits Payroll, an employee's compensation type determines which pay schedule they have. If you have two pay schedules and want to move an employee between schedules, just update their compensation type (e.g., salary to hourly, or hourly to salary), and give the change an effective date.

These steps will only apply to companies who are using Zenefits Payroll to pay their contractors, not through the Zenefits Contractors app.


How to Add a Contractor to a Pay Schedule

  1. From the Payroll app, click into the People tab, then into the Contractors section.
  2. Click on the name of the person you'd like to add to a pay schedule.
  3. A detailed panel for that individual will appear.
  4. In the upper right corner of the detail panel, you will see the option to add the selected individual to a pay schedule.
    Hourly Contractors can only be added to the Hourly Pay Schedule
    Fixed Rate Contractors can only be added to the Salary Pay Schedule
  5. If the contractor has already been added to a pay schedule, you'll instead see the option to remove them from the assigned pay schedule.

How to Remove a Contractor from a Pay Schedule

  1. From the Payroll app, click into the People tab, then into the Contractors section.
  2. Click on the name of the person you'd like to remove from a pay schedule.
  3. A detailed panel for that individual will appear.
  4. In the upper right corner of the detail panel, you will see the option to remove the selected individual from the assigned pay schedule.
    Hourly Contractors can only be added to the Hourly Pay Schedule
    Fixed Rate Contractors can only be added to the Salary Pay Schedule
  5. If the contractor hasn't already been assigned a pay schedule, you'll instead see the option to add them to a pay schedule.

How to Switch Pay Schedules for a Contractor

Pay schedules for contractors are determined by their compensation type.
  1. From the Payroll app, click into the People tab, then into the Contractors section.
  2. Click on the name of the person whose pay schedule you are changing.
  3. A detailed panel for that individual will appear.
  4. Click on the Details tab, then go to their profile /tearsheet using this shortcut ee tearsheet
  5. Click on Employment & Compensation from the left hand menu, then Make Changes.
  6. Select if the change already happened, will be immediate, or scheduled.
  7. Pick from the Compensation Type drop down.
    Hourly Contractors can only be added to the Hourly Pay Schedule
    Fixed Rate Contractors can only be added to the Salary Pay Schedule
  8. Once finished, press Continue and complete any additional questions.
NOTE: Contractors with a Fixed Compensation Type assigned to the Salary Pay Schedule will need to be paid on off cycle runs.

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