What is Fixed Pay?

Fixed pay is the monthly compensation paid by a company to its employees for the work done. The amount of fixed pay given to the employee does not change despite fewer hours worked or bad performance.

Most companies offer compensation as a combination of fixed and variable pay, with a fixed monthly salary and a quarterly or half-yearly bonus based on a good performance.

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Fixed Pay vs Variable Pay

Fixed pay is a guaranteed amount of money an employee receives for their work. Variable pay, on the other hand, fluctuates based on the individual or company performance.

Variable pay is paid in the form of bonuses, commissions or profit-sharing, while fixed pay is typically paid as a monthly salary.

Offering fixed pay is a way to attract and retain top talent but may not incentivise employees to exceed expectations. Variable pay can be highly motivating and may benefit the company, but can also be very stressful to the employee, thus affecting productivity.

Advantages of Fixed Pay

Fixed pay offers significant benefits for both employers and employees.


Employees prefer the consistency and stability of fixed pay since they know exactly what to expect in their paychecks, making budgeting and financial planning easier.

Attract top talent

Offering fixed pay allows employers to attract and retain top talent. It also makes it easier for employers to calculate and disburse payroll regularly.

Less stress

Employees who can rely on a guaranteed source of income have fewer financial troubles and can better focus on productivity at work.

Advantages of Variable Pay

Increased motivation

Knowing your income is tied to your performance can be a powerful motivator. Variable pay can make employees feel more invested in work and push them to achieve better results.

Higher earning potential

Variable pay offers the chance to significantly boost income by exceeding targets, going the extra mile, or when the company performs well. This can be a great motivator for high performers and those seeking a dynamic earning structure.

Components of Fixed Pay

Here is a list of all fixed pay components to keep in mind while deciding on an employee pay structure.

Basic Pay

Basic pay or base salary is the fundamental component of an employee’s compensation, before any deductions or additions. It forms part of the fixed salary, since the base pay does not change according to performance or working hours.

House Rent Allowance (HRA)

HRA is the part of an employee’s salary that is provided by the employer to help cover the expenses of renting a house. In India, HRA is exempt from income tax as long as the required rental proofs are provided, and the annual rent comes within a certain bracket.

HRA is paid in addition to basic pay, as a part of the fixed component of salary.

Conveyance Allowance

Conveyance allowance is an extra sum of money paid by the employer towards the cost of work-related travel. It may include cost of fuel and maintenance of cars, parking costs or rental costs.

Conveyance allowance can also be a way to save on taxes, and is paid as part of the fixed salary.

Meal Allowance

Companies provide Sodexo or other food coupons for employees to spend on food and beverages. Meal allowances are also tax-exempt and are paid as part of the fixed salary.

Meal allowances may also include business lunches, office celebrations, meals during business trips or overtime work.

Work from home allowance

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses chose to retain their hybrid working model, or remain completely work from home. These companies may choose to provide their employees with a work from home allowance for costs related to setting up a workstation at home.

Employees may choose to use this allowance to purchase office furniture or pay for the extra electricity and internet costs.

Importance of a Good Salary Structure

A well-designed salary structure is a critical backbone for any organization, influencing everything from attracting and retaining talent to fostering a motivated and productive workforce. Here’s why it holds so much importance:

Fairness and Transparency: A good salary structure ensures employees are compensated fairly based on their skills, experience, and performance. This transparency builds trust and reduces feelings of resentment that can arise from unequal pay for equal work. Employees who understand the system can see clear career advancement paths and salary increases.

Attracting Top Talent: Competitive salaries are crucial for attracting skilled individuals in a competitive job market. A well-structured salary plan demonstrates that your organization values its employees and is willing to invest in them. This can give you an edge when recruiting top performers.

Employee Motivation and Retention: A well-designed structure that rewards performance and offers opportunities for salary growth motivates employees to strive for excellence. Feeling valued financially can lead to higher job satisfaction and a greater desire to stay with the company. Reduced turnover translates to cost savings for the organization and fosters a more experienced and knowledgeable workforce.

Financial Planning and Budgeting: A clear salary structure allows employees to predict their income and plan their finances effectively. This financial security contributes to a more stable and focused workforce.

Improved Employer Branding: A reputation for offering fair and competitive compensation can significantly enhance your employer brand. This attracts a wider pool of qualified candidates and positions your company as an attractive place to work.

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What is an example of fixed pay?

Fixed pay includes basic pay, house rent allowance, conveyance allowance and more.

What is CTC vs fixed pay?

CTC stands for Cost to Company and includes all expenses related to the employee - ESOPs, fixed pay, variable pay, bonuses, provident fund contributions and more. Fixed pay refers to only that component of in-hand salary that does not change.

Is CTC fixed or variable pay?

CTC, or Cost To Company, is not itself a fixed or variable amount. It's the total compensation an employer spends on an employee annually. This typically includes a fixed salary, variable pay like bonuses, and benefits.

How to find fixed pay?

To find your fixed pay, look for your base salary or basic pay amount in your employment contract or pay stub. This is the guaranteed amount you receive before taxes and deductions, and often excludes allowances and bonuses. If you're unsure, consult your HR department for clarification on how your fixed pay is calculated.

How to find variable pay?

Finding your variable pay can involve a few steps: 1. Review your employment contract or compensation plan: This document should outline the types of variable pay you're eligible for (commissions, bonuses, etc.) and how they're calculated. 2. Check your pay stubs: These might show variable pay amounts paid out in the current or previous pay period. 3. Talk to HR: If the details aren't clear, your HR department can explain how your variable pay is calculated and when it's typically paid out (quarterly, annually, etc.). 4. Company intranet or portal: Some companies might have an internal resource that details compensation plans and how to calculate variable pay.


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