Understanding Net Pay and Gross Pay

Understanding Net Pay and Gross Pay

Table of content

  1. Net Pay
  2. Gross Pay
  3. How Workstem Can Assist You?

Net Pay

What is Net Pay?

The whole amount of money that you will eventually have access to is your net pay. Using the previous example, if your gross pay was AU$600.00, your net pay would be the amount that remains in your bank account after deducting taxes and other charges.

What Affects Net Pay?

Withholdings from federal income taxes

  • A progressive income-based bracket system is used to determine the amount of federal income tax owed.

Withholdings from state income taxes

  • While many states, like the federal government, have progressive tax bands, some do not impose any income tax at all. Certain cities also have their own income tax.

Medicare and Social Security taxes

  • Medicare tax rate is 1.45%, and Social Security tax rate is 6.2%. Payroll taxes, generally known as the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA), require employers to match employee contributions.

Garnishments of wages

  • Employers may be required by a court to deduct a portion of an employee’s compensation in order to cover accrued debt. Credit card debt, student loan debt, child support, alimony, medical costs, and unpaid taxes are a few instances of garnishments.

Premiums for health insurance

  • Employees frequently contribute to their health insurance premiums each pay period, even though employers normally pay the majority of the costs.

Retirement funds

  • Certain retirement plans, like the 401(k), require contributions that are deducted from gross pay.

Employee’s Withholding Certificate, Form W-4

  • Employees may be required to complete a Form W-4 upon beginning a new employment. This form requests information on the employee’s filing status (married, single, head of household), dependents, and additional sources of income. These details directly impact how much federal income tax is deducted each pay period.

How to Calculate Net Pay?

These are the standard procedures that businesses and HR specialists use to determine net pay:

  • Use the hourly rate multiplied by the total number of hours worked or the salary divided by the number of pay periods to determine gross pay.
  • Deduct pre-tax contributions to your 401(k), health insurance, and other accounts.
  • Withhold all applicable taxes, such as state and local taxes, federal income tax, and FICA taxes.
  • Recover earnings for any applicable court orders.

Gross Pay

What is Gross Pay?

The whole amount of money an employee earns before taxes and other deductions is known as their gross pay. For instance, if your employer gives you AU$50,000 a year in compensation, you have made AU$50,000 in gross pay.

What Does Gross Pay Include?

Gross pay includes the total amount of money earned by an employee before any deductions or taxes are taken out. This includes regular wages or salary, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and any other forms of income received from an employer.

How to Calculate Gross Pay?

For salaried employees:

The employee’s payment method has a significant impact on the process used to calculate gross wages. Gross pay for salaried workers is calculated by dividing their yearly compensation by the total number of pay periods in a year (refer to the chart below). Thus, the gross pay will be AU$4,000 if an individual earns AU$48,000 annually and receives a monthly salary.


Pay Schedule

Pay Periods









For hourly wage employees:

Multiplying the hourly rate by the number of hours worked during a pay period yields the gross pay for hourly workers. For instance, a part-time worker making AU$12 per hour for 35 hours will earn AU$420 in total compensation. If relevant, overtime rates also need to be taken into consideration.

How Workstem Can Assist You?

Simplify your payroll process and ensure accurate pay rates with Workstem’s automated payroll system. Our pre-built modern award interpretation software covers 122+ awards and 34 EBAs, and keeps you up-to-date with penalty rates and other award entitlements.

Choose between our Standard and Advanced plans, and enjoy a range of benefits such as Fair Work compliance, an employee self-service App, and customised rule set.

Book a free demo with our payroll experts. Experience the efficiency and accuracy of Workstem today!

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