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Payroll Week 53, 54 or 56

Article ID


Article Name

Payroll Week 53, 54 or 56

Created Date

9th April 2019


IRIS PAYE-Master, IRIS Payroll Business, IRIS Bureau Payroll, IRIS Payroll Professional, Earnie, IRIS Earnie IQ


Will I have a week 53, 54 or 56 this tax year?


If you run a weekly, 2-weekly or 4-weekly payroll you might find you need to complete an additional period after week 52 to finish your PAYE tax year.

If your normal repeating pay date falls on the 5th April you have to complete the additional period for your tax year to be complete.

When it is a leap year you will also have an additional period if your pay date falls on the 4th April.

The additional period will be:
• Week 53 if you pay employees weekly
• Week 54 if you pay employee fortnightly
• Week 56 if you pay employees every 4 weeks.

If your normal repeating pay date does not fall on either the 4th (Leap Year Only) or 5th of April your last period will be week 52.

Monthly payrolls would never be affected, you would never process a month 13.

If your payroll calendar is configured so that your pay date falls on the 4th (Leap Year Only) or 5th of April your payroll software will automatically trigger week 53 for weekly payroll, 54 for 2-weekly payrolls and 56 for 4-weekly payrolls.

There is no special process in the software, you run this additional period like you would any other. You should NEVER manipulate your payroll calendar to force week 53,54 or 56 if one is not needed.

How does this affect the Tax/NI calculation?

The NI calculation is performed exactly as it is for every other pay period.

The only change to the tax calculation is all employee are switched to a week1/month1 equivalent of their tax code. This will ignore any previous pay and tax for the year and perform the calculation solely on the gross taxable pay for the period. Your payroll software will do this automatically if processing week 53, 54 or 56.

While this is the correct method required by HMRC to deal with these extra periods it can cause some confusion. In some circumstances using a week1/month1 tax code for week 53 (54 or 56) can cause the employee to pay too little tax for the year. Should this happen the employee will receive a P800 from HMRC advising them on the calculated tax for the year and what is owed. HMRC will usually deal with this by issuing a new tax code for the employee to deduct the shortfall in tax in the following tax year.

As an employer you do not need to do anything in payroll until HMRC issue a change of tax code notice.

For further details on week 53 payments please refer to the HMRC CWG2 document “Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs” – Click here.

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