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Process week 53

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Follow this guide in order to process your week 53 correctly in your Sage Instant Payroll software.


A week 53 in the 2020/21 tax year occurs when your regular pay date for weekly, fortnightly or four weekly paid employees falls on 4 or 5 April. The number of days in the tax year doesn't divide into a whole number of tax weeks, so 4 and 5 April become week 53.

If you do have a week 53, there's nothing that you need to do differently. Simply complete your payroll in the usual way dated 04/04/2021 or 05/04/2021, depending on your normal pay day, before you process your payroll year end.


Check if you have a week 53

In the 2020/2021 tax year, tax week 53 is Sunday 4 April and Monday 5 April 2021. You have a week 53 if the following applies:

Your normal pay day is a Sunday or Monday and...

  • You last processed your weekly paid employees on Monday 29 March 2021.
  • You last processed your fortnightly paid employees on Monday 22 March 2021.
  • You last processed your four weekly paid employees on Monday 7 March 2021.

In each of these instances, you're next due to process the employees on 4 or 5 April 2021, week 53.

These are the only scenarios where you must process a week 53, the next processing date for all other pay dates falls into the 2021/2022 tax year.

How tax and national insurance (NI) calculates at week 53

At week 53, tax calculates using a week 1 / month 1 allowance. NI is calculated as in any other pay period, using the weekly, two weekly or four weekly thresholds, as appropriate. For directors using the table method, their NI recalculates in week 52 and week 53 cumulatively using the annual thresholds. Read more >