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Pay reference periods

Automatic enrolment detailed guidance for employers no. 3 Appendix A

This document accompanies: Detailed guidance no. 3 – Assessing the workforce (short URL: https://is.gd/PM0ZmM)

 

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Pay reference period calendars where the definition of pay reference periods is aligned with tax weeks or months

The pay reference periods for pay reference periods which are equal in length to a week, fortnight, or four week period, and a month, quarter (three months), bi-annual (six months) or annual period are listed here.

If the length of the pay reference period is not one of these the pay reference period calendar will have to be derived (described below).

Weekly

Tax week Non-leap year PRP Leap year PRP
1 6 Apr to 12 Apr 6 Apr to 12 Apr
2 13 Apr to 19 Apr 13 Apr to 19 Apr
3 20 Apr to 26 Apr 20 Apr to 26 Apr
4 27 Apr to 3 May 27 Apr to 3 May
5 4 May to 10 May 4 May to 10 May
11 May to 17 May 11 May to 17 May
7 18 May to 24 May 18 May to 24 May
25 May to 31 May 25 May to 31 May
9 1 Jun to 7 Jun 1 Jun to 7 Jun
10  8 Jun to 14 Jun  8 Jun to 14 Jun 
11  15 Jun to 21 Jun  15 Jun to 21 Jun 
12  22 Jun to 28 Jun  22 Jun to 28 Jun 
13  29 Jun to 5 Jul  29 Jun to 5 Jul 
14  6 Jul to 12 Jul  6 Jul to 12 Jul 
15  13 Jul to 19 Jul  13 Jul to 19 Jul 
16  20 Jul to 26 Jul  20 Jul to 26 Jul 
17  27 Jul to 2 Aug  27 Jul to 2 Aug 
18  3 Aug to 9 Aug  3 Aug to 9 Aug 
19  10 Aug to 16 Aug  10 Aug to 16 Aug 
20  17 Aug to 23 Aug  17 Aug to 23 Aug 
21  24 Aug to 30 Aug  24 Aug to 30 Aug 
22  31 Aug to 6 Sep  31 Aug to 6 Sep  
23  7 Sep to 13 Sep  7 Sep to 13 Sep 
24  14 Sep to 20 Sep  14 Sep to 20 Sep 
25  21 Sep to 27 Sep  21 Sep to 27 Sep 
26  28 Sep to 4 Oct  28 Sep to 4 Oct 
27  5 Oct to 11 Oct  5 Oct to 11 Oct 
28  12 Oct to 18 Oct  12 Oct to 18 Oct 
29  19 Oct to 25 Oct  19 Oct to 25 Oct 
30  26 Oct to 1 Nov  26 Oct to 1 Nov 
31  2 Nov to 8 Nov  2 Nov to 8 Nov 
32  9 Nov to 15 Nov  9 Nov to 15 Nov
33  16 Nov to 22 Nov  16 Nov to 22 Nov 
34  23 Nov to 29 Nov  23 Nov to 29 Nov 
35  30 Nov to 6 Dec  30 Nov to 6 Dec 
36  7 Dec to 13 Dec  7 Dec to 13 Dec 
37  14 Dec to 20 Dec  14 Dec to 20 Dec 
38  21 Dec to 27 Dec  21 Dec to 27 Dec 
39  28 Dec to 3 Jan  28 Dec to 3 Jan 
40  4 Jan to 10 Jan  4 Jan to 10 Jan 
41  11 Jan to 17 Jan  11 Jan to 17 Jan  
42  18 Jan to 24 Jan  18 Jan to 24 Jan 
43  25 Jan to 31 Jan  25 Jan to 31 Jan 
44  1 Feb to 7 Feb   1 Feb to 7 Feb 
45  8 Feb to 14 Feb  8 Feb to 14 Feb 
46  15 Feb to 21 Feb  15 Feb to 21 Feb 
47  22 Feb to 28 Feb  22 Feb to 28 Feb 
48  1 Mar to 7 Mar  29 Feb to 6 Mar 
49  8 Mar to 14 Mar  7 Mar to 13 Mar 
50  15 Mar to 21 Mar  14 Mar to 20 Mar 
51  22 Mar to 28 Mar  21 Mar to 27 Mar 
52  29 Mar to 4 Apr  28 Mar to 3 Apr 
  5 Apr to 5 Apr or  5 Apr to 11 Apr  4 Apr to 5 Apr or  4 Apr to 10 Apr 

 

Fortnightly

Tax weeks Non-leap year PRP Leap year PRP
1 & 2 6 Apr to 19 Apr  6 Apr to 19 Apr 
3 & 4  20 Apr to 3 May  20 Apr to 3 May 
5 & 6  4 May to 17 May  4 May to 17 May 
7 & 8  18 May to 31 May  18 May to 31 May 
9 & 10  1 Jun to 14 Jun  1 Jun to 14 Jun 
11 & 12  15 Jun to 28 Jun  15 Jun to 28 Jun 
13 & 14  29 Jun to 12 Jul  29 Jun to 12 Jul 
15 & 16  13 Jul to 26 Jul  13 Jul to 26 Jul 
17 & 18  27 Jul to 9 Aug  27 Jul to 9 Aug 
19 & 20  10 Aug to 23 Aug  10 Aug to 23 Aug 
21 & 22  24 Aug to 6 Sep  24 Aug to 6 Sep 
23 & 24  7 Sep to 20 Sep  7 Sep to 20 Sep 
25 & 26  21 Sep to 4 Oct  21 Sep to 4 Oct 
27 & 28  5 Oct to 18 Oct  5 Oct to 18 Oct 
29 & 30  19 Oct to 1 Nov  19 Oct to 1 Nov 
31 & 32  2 Nov to 15 Nov  2 Nov to 15 Nov 
33 & 34  16 Nov to 29 Nov  16 Nov to 29 Nov 
35 & 36  30 Nov to 13 Dec  30 Nov to 13 Dec 
37 & 38  14 Dec to 27 Dec  14 Dec to 27 Dec 
39 & 40  28 Dec to 10 Jan  28 Dec to 10 Jan 
41 & 42  11 Jan to 24 Jan  11 Jan to 24 Jan 
43 & 44  25 Jan to 7 Feb  25 Jan to 7 Feb 
45 & 46  8 Feb to 21 Feb  8 Feb to 21 Feb 
47 & 48  22 Feb to 7 Mar  22 Feb to 6 Mar 
49 & 50  8 Mar to 21 Mar  7 Mar to 20 Mar 
51 & 52  22 Mar to 4 Apr  21 Mar to 3 Apr 
  5 Apr to 5 Apr or 5 Apr to 18 Apr  4 Apr to 5 Apr or 4 Apr to 17 Apr 

 

Four-weekly

Tax weeks Non-leap year PRP Leap year PRP
1 – 4 6 Apr to 3 May  6 Apr to 3 May 
5 – 8  4 May to 31 May  4 May to 31 May 
9 – 12  1 Jun to 28 Jun  1 Jun to 28 Jun  
13 – 16  29 Jun to 26 Jul  29 Jun to 26 Jul 
17 – 20  27 Jul to 23 Aug  27 Jul to 23 Aug 
21 – 24  24 Aug to 20 Sep  24 Aug to 20 Sep 
25 – 28  21 Sep to 18 Oct  21 Sep to 18 Oct 
29 – 32  19 Oct to 15 Nov  19 Oct to 15 Nov 
33 – 36  16 Nov to 13 Dec  16 Nov to 13 Dec 
37 – 40  14 Dec to 10 Jan  14 Dec to 10 Jan 
41 – 44  11 Jan to 7 Feb  11 Jan to 7 Feb 
45 – 48  8 Feb to 7 Mar  8 Feb to 6 Mar 
49 – 52  8 Mar to 4 Apr  7 Mar to 3 Apr 
  5 Apr to 5 Apr or  5 Apr to 2 May  4 Apr to 5 Apr or  4 Apr to 1 May 

 

Monthly

Tax month PRP
1 6 Apr to 5 May 
2 6 May to 5 Jun 
6 Jun to 5 Jul 
6 Jul to 5 Aug 
6 Aug to 5 Sep 
6 Sep to 5 Oct 
6 Oct to 5 Nov 
6 Nov to 5 Dec 
6 Dec to 5 Jan 
10  6 Jan to 5 Feb 
11  6 Feb to 5 Mar 
12  5 Mar to 5 Apr 

 

Quarterly

Tax months PRP
1 – 3 6 Apr to 5 Jul  
4 – 6  6 Jul to 5 Oct 
7 – 9  6 Oct to 5 Jan 
10 – 12  6 Jan to 5 Apr 

 

Bi-annually

Tax months PRP
1 – 6 6 Apr to 5 Oct 
7 – 12  6 Oct to 5 Apr 

 

Annually

Tax months PRP
1 – 12 6 Apr to 5 Apr 

Pay reference periods of other lengths

If the usual interval between payments of regular wage or salary is not fortnightly or four-weekly but is another multiple of weeks (eg five weeks) the length of the pay reference period will be equal to that multiple of weeks. Where the length of the pay reference is a multiple of weeks (eg five weeks), the pay reference period starts on 6 April each year and the first day of the tax week which commences immediately after the expiry of a ‘pay interval period’ beginning on 6 April.

A ‘pay interval period’ is a period equal in length to the usual interval between payments of the worker’s regular wage or salary and each whole multiple (ie 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc) of that period. So, in the example of a pay reference of five weeks duration the first pay reference period starts on 6 April and lasts for the first pay interval period of five weeks ending on 10 May. The first day of the tax week after 10 May is 11 May (the start of tax week 6).

The next pay reference period starts on the first day of the tax week after the expiry of a pay interval period which starts on 6 April and lasts for the next whole multiple (ie two) of five weeks. The next whole multiple of a five week period is a 10 week period. A 10 week period that starts on 6 April ends on 14 June. The first day of a tax week that starts after 14 June is 15 June (the start of tax week 11).
These steps are repeated until the end of the tax year to give the start dates of each pay reference period in the year (see example calendar below).

Example of a five-weekly pay reference period calendar

Tax weeks Non-leap year PRP Leap year PRP
1 - 5 6 Apr to 10 May  6 Apr to 10 May 
6 - 10  11 May to 14 Jun  11 May to 14 Jun 
11 - 15  15 Jun to 19 Jul  15 Jun to 19 Jul 
16 - 20  20 Jul to 23 Aug  20 Jul to 23 Aug 
21 - 25  24 Aug to 27 Sep  24 Aug to 27 Sep 
26 - 30  28 Sep to 1 Nov  28 Sep to 1 Nov 
31 - 35  2 Nov to 6 Dec  2 Nov to 6 Dec 
36 - 40  7 Dec to 10 Jan  7 Dec to 10 Jan 
41 - 45  11 Jan to 14 Feb  11 Jan to 14 Feb 
46 - 50  15 Feb to 21 Mar  15 Feb to 20 Mar 
  22 March to 5 April or  22 Mar to 25 Apr  21 Mar to 24 Apr 

As with the weekly, fortnightly and four-weekly pay reference periods the first pay reference period of each tax year starts on 6 April and ‘resets’ the calendar for each tax year. In this case however it is more likely that there will be overlapping pay reference periods for the purposes of assessment although in some circumstances the pay reference period will be ended on 5 April.

If the usual interval between payments of regular wage or salary is not quarterly, bi-annual or annual but is another multiple of months (eg bi-monthly) the length of the pay reference period will be equal to that multiple of months. Where an employer has a pay reference period of a length equal to such a multiple of months they should apply the same method as described above to derive the pay reference period calendar.

For example, if the usual interval between payments of regular wage or salary is two months, then a ‘pay interval period’ in this case is a period equal in length to two months and each whole multiple (ie 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) of a two month period. In this case the first pay reference period starts on 6 April and lasts for the first pay interval period of two months ending on 5 June. The first day of the tax month after 5 June is 6 June (the start of tax month week 3).

The next pay reference period starts on the first day of the tax week after the expiry of a pay interval period starting on 6 April and lasting the next multiple of two months. The next whole multiple (ie two) of a two month period is a four month period. A four month period that starts on 6 April ends on 5 August. The first day of a tax month that starts after 5 August is 6 August (the start of tax month 5).

These steps are repeated until the end of the tax year to give the starts dates of each pay reference period in the year (see example calendar below).

Example of a bi-monthly pay reference period calendar

Tax months PRP
1 – 2 6 Apr to 5 June 
3 – 4  6 June to 5 Aug 
5 – 6  6 Aug to 5 Oct 
7 – 8  6 Oct to 5 Dec 
9 – 10  6 Dec to 5 Feb 
11-12  6 Feb to 5 Apr  

The first pay reference period of each tax year starts on 6 April and ‘resets’ the calendar for each tax year.