What is Pay Period?

Pay Period is a new feature introduced by altHR to allow companies to define a different monthly pay period.

The system's default pay period is every 1st day until the last day of the month, eg. 1st to 30/31st of every month, and the period cannot be changed. With this new feature, companies can now set and change to a different start date and end date for each monthly pay period, eg. 26th to 25th of every month.

The purpose of changing the pay period is to allow HR to cut-off payroll earlier, able to process payroll before end of the month so the companies can pay the staff's salaries earlier without worstaff missing in action after receive the full-month salary.

In this article, we will be including the contents as the overview below:

  1. Understanding Pay Period Setting
  2. How to Set Up Pay Period 
    1. Steps on Primary Set Up 
    2. Other Scenarios & Steps
  3. Important Notes

1.   Understanding Pay Period Setting

  1. Payroll Month:
    The system will follow the sequence of the month, if the user has generated payroll for December 2022, the payroll month here will show January 2023.

  2. Calendar Days: 
    The calendar days here are the total of calendar days of the pay period that is auto-calculated by the system, not editable. For eg. If you set 26th February 2023 to 25th March 2023, the total calendar days is 28 days.

    NOTE: The system will use the calendar days to pro-rate new joiner & resigned employee's salaries.

  3. Previous pay period:
    The system will show the pay period start date and end date which had been set by the user on the last payroll month; so it helps the user to set the current pay period. This field is non-editable.

    NOTE: For users who just use payroll for the first time, it will show N/A

  4. Current Pay period:
    This is the current pay period's start date and end date, after selecting the start date and end date, you may proceed to run the payroll.

    Please note the following rules when you set up for the current pay period:

    - The system will automatically include the new joiner whose start date falls within the current pay period to run payroll, and the system will pro-rate the new joiner's salary.
    - The system will automatically pro-rate the salary of the resigned employees if their last day of work falls within the current pay period

    NOTE: Pro-ration formula is (Basic salary/Calendar days)* Number of days eligible in the month. Please refer to this article if you wish to know how pro-ration works: Incomplete Month Salary Pro-Ration Calculation 

2.  How to Set Up a Pay Period?

2 (a)  Primary Set Up for Pay Period

  1. Go to Payroll > Run Payroll > Click "Generate payroll for [next month]"
    If you did not see the button of Generate payroll, which you already generated the payroll, you will just need to click the PENCIL ICON on the header
  2. You will able to see the Pay Period setting

2 (b) Others Scenarios & Steps

If this is your first time setting up this, please read through the Primary Set Up for Pay Period first and go to the Section A or B  according to your requirement:

  • If you wish to MAINTAIN the current pay period (default) which is 1st to last day of the month - Go to A

  • If you wish to CHANGE to a customized pay period for eg. every 26th to 25th - Go to B


If you wish to remain current pay period/ default system pay period which is 1st to last day of the month:

  1. Turn ON the Default Pay Period, then, you will see the Current Pay Period will be auto-filled by the first day of the month and last day of the month. Click Confirm to proceed.
  2. The system will bring you to the Process Status to load/update the payroll. Once its ready, click View,  OR, simply just head back to Payroll > Run Payroll
  3. You shall see the pay period is 1st to the last day of the month on Run Payroll page. And you shall proceed with your normal pay run as per usual.


If you wish to set up customize pay period (for First-time SETUP ONLY):

IMPORTANT: For the first-time user, this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to read through all guideline to ensure all payroll amount is captured and adjusted correctly.

  • For first-time setup, you will see the Previous Pay Period is as per system default which is 1st to the last day of the last payroll month
  • The system will NOT allow you to set the Current Pay Period's Start Date overlapped the End Date of the Previous Pay Period
  • Therefore, for first-time setup, there are a few scenarios on the Current Pay Period if you'd like customized dates:
    • Scenario 1: Your customize pay period for Current Month starts after 1st of this payroll month eg. 6th of this month to 5th of next month
    • Scenario 2: Your customize pay period for Current Month overlapped with the last payroll month dates eg. 26th of last month to 25th of this month

Scenario 1 

In this scenario, given an example you want to set the March 2023 current pay period starting after 1st of March (of any month after 1st of that month):

  • Current Pay Period: 6th March 2023 to 5th April 2023
  • Previous Pay Period: (Default) 1st February 2023 to 28th February 2023

Turn OFF the Default Pay Period > At Current Pay Period, select start date 06/03/2023, end date 05/04/2023
Click Confirm to proceed

BUT......!! You will realize there will be cases in which:

  • Missing dates:  1-5th March 2023
  • This means, from 1-5th March, 
    • Existing employees' salary is not calculated for the missing dates
    • New joiner & resigned employee' salary is not pro-rated for the missing dates

Do note the below if you wish to set this pattern of new pay period with MISSING DATES (First-time set up only):

  • In this kind of pay period setting, you will need to pay the salaries for 1-5th March 2023 + 6th March 2023 to 5th April 2023.
  • You will need to manually calculate the pro-rated salary for 1-5th March for existing employees and the pro-rated salary for new joiners and resigned employees AND add the amount as BACKPAY SALARY.
  • This also means, if you set the pay period in this kind of pattern, you will be paying MORE salaries in the current pay period. So, do note this and discuss it with any person that is in charge of your payroll budget before additional payroll costs are incurred.
  • Suggested backpay formula : (Salary/Calendar days)*Number of days missing **** depends on the company's payroll formula policy

Once you have manually calculated the BACKPAY SALARY of the entitled employees. Please follow the below steps to add the BackPay Salary amount into payroll processing:

  1. Head to Payroll > Settings > Set Pay Items > Add Pay Item (Choose Normal Remuneration or Additional Remuneration accordingly)
  2. Add New Pay Item > Fill in Name "Backpay Salary (Missing dates)" or if there are any allowances item pro-rated and needed to be back pay, can name as "Backpay Allowance (Missing dates)" > Fill in Wage Type (should be same with Salary or Allowance setting) > EA Field (Follow EA Field setting as Salary or Allowance)
    Click Confirm to Save
  3. Tick the statutory entitlement accordingly, refer to your existing Salary or Allowance statutory settings.
  4. Go to Payroll > Run Payroll > Select the desired employee > Manage > Add Pay Item > Key in the amount of the pro-rated BACKPAY SALARY (missing dates) > Click SEND

Scenario 2

In this scenario, given an example, you want to set your first customized period for the March 2023 payroll AND it is overlapping with February 2023's dates, for eg:

  • Current Pay Period: 26th February 2023 to 25th March 2023
  • Previous Pay Period: (Default) 1st February 2023 to 28th February 2023

Turn OFF the Default Pay Period > At Current Pay Period, select start date 26/02/2023, end date 25/03/2023
Click Confirm to proceed

  • Existing employee
    For existing employees, as they worked the full month, their salary will not be affected and will calculate a full-month.

  • New Joiner/ Resigned Employee (Incomplete Month)
    If any new joiner or resigned employee's First Day or Last Day falls within the new pay period will need to be pro-rated using the Incomplete Month pro-ration formula (Refer article: Incomplete Month Salary Pro-Ration Calculation )

    For new joiners or resigned employees who had joined or left the company during the overlapped dates, and the salary has been paid in the previous month period, do note to also pro-rate their salary using the same formula.

    Use the edit salary to change their salary as per your pro-rated amount.

3.  Important Notes

  • You are highly advised to stick with the regular/ fixed pay period if you would like to change to a customized pay period (such as 26th-25th every month), please set the same start date and end date for each pay period to avoid there could be scenarios you missed out the dates or overlapped the dates 
  • The pay period is applicable for all staff, currently our feature cannot set different pay periods for different department/team/group/individual
  • You are advised to check and calculate the salary amount is correct during the process pay run - altHR is not responsible for any overpay or underpay errors
  • Please reach out to Payroll Support team at payroll@althr.my if you are not sure about the setup