What is a Pay Period?

Updated on September 16, 2022

  1. OnPay
  2. Payroll Software
  3. Terms and Definitions
  4. Pay Period

Pay period definition and meaning

A pay period is one of multiple equivalent and repeating spans of time – most commonly a week, two weeks, or month – that is used to calculate a worker’s incremental earnings throughout the year.


More about pay periods

Choosing a pay period also decides how often your employees will get paid. A weekly pay period will mean 52 paychecks per year. A bi-weekly pay period would mean a paycheck every two weeks, for 26 paychecks in a year. A monthly pay period will mean 12 paychecks each year.

Using pay period in a sentence

“I kept forgetting to submit my travel expenses, so now I’ll have to wait until the next pay period to get reimbursed.”

Terms related to: Pay Period

Articles and resources related to: Pay Period

Top-rated payroll


It’s easy to get started

Try OnPay out yourself to see how easy payroll and HR can be. To get started, just share a few basic details about your business. Our team of pros will set everything up and import your employees’ information for you.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.