2021 Holidays and Your Payroll

October 5, 2020|

Updated June 17, 2021

The fourth quarter of a calendar year is a great time to begin planning for the upcoming year. For payroll and HR professionals, part of preparing for the next year is making note of the federal banking holidays and determining if they will fall within your payroll processing schedule.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System maintains a list of federal banking holidays for the current year and the following four years. Bank files, including direct deposit files, do not move on federal banking holidays. So, if a holiday falls during your payroll processing period, you’ll want to move up the processing schedule to ensure your workers are paid on time. If your check date falls directly on a holiday, it is common practice to adjust your payday to the previous business day.

Below is a table of holidays, payroll processing dates, and check dates. Our table is based on the following assumptions:

  • Your scheduled check date falls on a holiday (or the Friday after Thanksgiving)
  • You would like to pay your employees the business day before
  • You follow a two-day processing timeline

Visit the Federal Reserve website for all banking holiday dates through 2024.

Holiday Date Process Payroll Check Date
New Year’s Day 2021 Friday, January 1, 2021 December 29, 2020 December 31, 2020
Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, January 18, 2021 January 13, 2021 January 15, 2021
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 15, 2021 February 10, 2021 February 12, 2021
Memorial Day Monday, May 31, 2021 May 26, 2021 May 28, 2021
Juneteenth National Independence Day Saturday, June 19, 2021 June 16, 2021 June 18, 2021
Independence Day Sunday, July 4, 2021

Observed Monday, July 5, 2021

June 30, 2021 July 2, 2021
Labor Day Monday, September 6, 2021 September 1, 2021 September 3, 2021
Columbus Day Monday, October 11, 2021 October 6, 2021 October 8, 2021
Veterans Day Thursday, November 11, 2021 November 9, 2021 November 12, 2021
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 25, 2021 November 22, 2021 November 24, 2021
The day after Thanksgiving is not a banking holiday but is likely a check date for many employers. November 22, 2021 November 24, 2021
Christmas Day Saturday, December 25, 2021 December 22, 2021 December 24, 2021
New Year’s Day 2022 Saturday, January 1, 2022 December 29, 2021 December 31, 2021


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