Navigating Beginning of the Year Pay Cycles

April 18, 2022 • Karen Dooley

Navigating Beginning of the Year Pay Cycles

Often ten-month employees begin work in August but don’t receive their first paycheck until mid- to late September.

The misalignment of the work calendar and the pay cycle at the start of the school year results in a ten-month employee whose pay is annualized working six to eight weeks prior to receiving their first paycheck. To address this, school districts often use a 13th paycheck opportunity for teaching staff. This same option may be effective for other ten-month employees, such as educational aides and clerical staff.

Typically, 10-month auxiliary employees (e.g., child nutrition workers, bus drivers, bus monitors) are paid twice monthly. Depending on the school district’s pay cycle, these employees may benefit from a 25th paycheck their first year of employment if their pay is annualized. Auxiliary employees paid once monthly could be provided the 13th paycheck option.

Basically, a 13th or 25th paycheck would occur during the month of August. Annualized pay would be calculated, and payments would be divided by 13 or 25, respectively. While each check would be less than the standard calculation, pay for these employees would begin sooner.

Including a pay option election form in an employee’s new hire paperwork can make management of this option simple. Most human resource information systems (HRIS) allow flexibility of pay cycles to accommodate this option.

Requiring an employee to work an extended period prior to receiving their first paycheck creates a financial hardship. While supporting these employees with a 13th or a 25th pay option can reduce stress, it may also serve as a recruitment tool.


Karen Dooley is a senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at karen.dooley@tasb.org.


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Tagged: Benefits, Compensation, Employment, Salaries