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What Is Statutory Bonus in Salary?

Statutory Bonus

Hold on, wait a minute! Your introduction paints the statutory bonus in India with the wrong brush. It’s not just a reward for stellar performance, nor is it a bargaining chip for a better job. Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a journey to unwrap the true meaning and significance of this hidden gem in your paycheck.

First things first, the statutory bonus is not a company’s whim. It’s a legal right enshrined in the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. Think of it as a profit-sharing scheme, where companies with good fortune redistribute some of their wealth with eligible employees. No performance metrics, no strings attached, just a fair share for your contribution.

And guess what? The eligibility net has widened! Now, even if you earn up to Rs. 21,000 per month, you’re potentially in the game, compared to the previous Rs. 10,000 limit. Plus, the bonus calculation considers a higher salary bracket of Rs. 7,000 (or the state minimum wage), ensuring a fairer distribution for lower-income earners.

So, this isn’t just about performance or bargaining power. It’s about recognizing your role in the company’s success and offering a well-deserved share of the profits. Stay tuned, as we delve deeper into the nitty-gritty of calculating your bonus, understanding the legal framework, and unraveling any remaining mysteries. Get ready to discover the true power of the statutory bonus!


What’s a “Statutory Bonus” in Your Salary? 

Confused by that mysterious “Statutory Bonus” line on your payslip? Fear not! It’s not a magical reward bestowed upon the chosen few, but a legal right for many Indian employees. Imagine it as a treasure chest overflowing with company profits, waiting to be shared with eligible employees.

But who gets to hold the key to this treasure? Well, if you earn less than Rs. 21,000 per month and have clocked in at least 30 days of work in a year, you’re in! Think of it as a pat on the back for your hard work, combined with a share in the company’s success.

So, how much treasure can you expect to find? The chest holds a minimum of 8.33% and up to 20% of your wages, with a maximum limit of Rs. 7,000 or your state’s minimum wage, whichever is higher. It’s like a guaranteed reward, regardless of your individual performance.

But when does this treasure arrive? Within 8 months of the company’s financial year ending, you’ll receive your share. Some companies are even more generous, offering it in advance like a delightful surprise!

Now, about taxes: don’t worry, only the part exceeding Rs. 35,000 gets taxed. So, consider it a sweet treat with minimal aftertaste.

Remember, the “Statutory Bonus” isn’t just a bonus, it’s a legal right. So, understand your eligibility, claim your share, and enjoy this well-deserved piece of the company’s success!


Different Types of Bonuses

Let’s delve deeper into the different types of bonuses offered in India and shed light on their intricacies:

1. Statutory Bonus: Legally Mandated, Not Performance-Based

As you mentioned, the statutory bonus is a mandatory payment governed by the Payment of Bonus Act. It’s calculated as a percentage (between 8.33% and 20%) of an employee’s basic salary and dearness allowance, multiplied by the days worked during the financial year. Eligibility depends on salary, work days, and excludes certain misconduct-related terminations. While it’s a welcome perk, it’s not tied to individual performance.

2. Performance-Based Bonuses: Recognizing Individual Contributions

This category encompasses bonuses awarded based on individual or team performance exceeding expectations. These can be structured in various ways:

  • Profit-Sharing Bonuses: Companies share a portion of their profits with employees, often based on pre-defined performance metrics.
  • Performance Bonuses: These directly reward individual achievement against set targets or goals.
  • Sales Bonuses: In sales-driven roles, exceeding sales quotas often triggers bonus payouts.
  • Retention Bonuses: To deter employee churn, companies might offer bonuses for staying on for a specific period.

3. Festival Bonuses: Celebrating Cultural Occasions

Many Indian companies pay bonuses during major festivals like Diwali or Dussehra. These are typically goodwill gestures and not tied to performance.

4. Fringe Benefits: Beyond the Cash Incentive

Bonuses can also take the form of non-cash benefits like health insurance premiums, travel allowances, or stock options. While not directly adding to your paycheck, they can significantly enhance your overall compensation package.


Who Gets a Bonus?

The Act applies to employees in various establishments, not just factories, with at least 10 or 20 employees (depending on the state). To be eligible, you must have worked for at least 30 days in the relevant accounting year and earn a monthly wage less than Rs. 21,000.


What’s the Bonus Amount?

Every eligible employee receives a minimum bonus of 8.33% of their wages. This is guaranteed, regardless of the company’s profits. However, the good news doesn’t stop there! If your employer has a “surplus” after accounting for expenses, the maximum bonus can reach 20% of your wages.


When Do You Get the Bonus?

Mark your calendars! The bonus must be paid within 8 months of the accounting year’s end. So, if the year ends in March, expect your bonus by November latest.

Calculating Your Bonus:

Feeling curious about the exact amount you might receive? Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Scenario 1: You earn Rs. 15,000 per month and work all year. Your minimum bonus is Rs. 1,250 (8.33% of Rs. 15,000).
  • Scenario 2: You earn Rs. 8,000 per month but only work half the year. Your minimum bonus is Rs. 300 (8.33% of Rs. 3,600, half-year wages).

Remember: If your monthly wage exceeds Rs. 7,000 (or the state minimum wage), the bonus is calculated based on your actual wages.

Bonus Tips:

  • This Act aims to improve employee well-being and share profits fairly.
  • For detailed information and calculations, check official government resources.
  • Have lingering questions? Many FAQs are available online to clarify specific doubts.

By understanding your rights under the Payment of Bonus Act, you can ensure you receive the bonus you deserve. So, stay informed, and remember, a bonus can be a valuable addition to your financial well-being!


Bonus Rules in India

The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, has evolved over time to better serve eligible employees. Let’s explore the key changes that affect your potential bonus:

Expanded Eligibility:

  • More employees benefit: The income limit for eligibility has been raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 21,000 per month. This means more individuals can now receive a statutory bonus.

Enhanced Calculation:

  • Actual wages matter: Previously, the bonus was calculated based on a maximum salary of Rs. 3,500 even if your actual salary was higher. Now, your actual wages up to Rs. 7,000 (or the state minimum wage, whichever is higher) are considered. This could lead to a larger bonus for some employees.


Who Does the Act Apply To?

The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, extends its reach to factories and other establishments with at least 20 employees. Once an establishment meets this threshold and falls under the Act, it’s obligated to pay the bonus to eligible employees even if the number of employees later dips below 20. This ensures a consistent benefit for employees who initially qualified.


Untangling the Eligibility for Statutory Bonus in India

Wondering if you qualify for the Statutory Bonus? Here’s a breakdown of the key criteria:

Income Threshold:

  • You’re eligible if your monthly salary falls under Rs. 21,000. This means more employees now benefit from the bonus compared to the previous limit.

Minimum Work Period:

  • You must have worked in the same establishment for at least 30 days during the relevant accounting year.

Exceptions that Count:

  • Even if you were laid off, on leave with pay, or temporarily disabled due to a work-related accident during the year, you’re still considered to have “worked” for eligibility purposes.
  • Maternity leave also counts towards your work period.


Important Exceptions to Bonus Eligibility

  • Dismissal for Cause: Employees who are dismissed for serious offenses like fraud or misconduct may not be eligible for a bonus.
  • Financial Loss Due to Employee Misconduct: If an employee’s actions during the accounting year directly cause financial loss to the company, the employer may deduct the lost amount from their bonus. The remaining bonus amount, if any, will still be paid.


Good News for Startups: A Break from Statutory Bonus Payments

Starting a new business is exciting, but comes with its own set of financial challenges. Thankfully, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, offers a helping hand to startups and new establishments: a five-year exemption from mandatory bonus payments!

Here’s what this means:

  • No bonus payments for the first five years: As your business gets off the ground, you won’t have to worry about statutory bonus payments for the initial five years after starting operations.
  • Focus on growth: This exemption gives you the freedom to invest those resources back into your business, fueling its growth and stability.
  • Profit-based bonuses after five years: Once your startup becomes profitable, the regular bonus rules apply. You’ll then be required to pay a minimum bonus of 8.33% and a maximum of 20% of eligible employees’ wages, based on your available surplus.

Remember: This exemption applies only to new establishments and startups, not existing businesses expanding their operations.

So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, take advantage of this bonus break to focus on building your dream. Just keep in mind the future requirements once your business flourishes!


Understanding Minimum and Maximum Bonuses

Under the Payment of Bonus Act, you’re entitled to a minimum bonus, no matter what. It’s 8.33% of your annual salary or wages, or Rs. 100, whichever is higher. This ensures you receive a share of the company’s success, even if profits are modest.

But the good news doesn’t stop there! If the company has a particularly good year, your bonus can climb even higher. The maximum limit is 20% of your annual salary or wages. This means you could potentially receive a significant boost to your income, depending on the company’s performance.


  • The bonus is calculated on your actual wages up to Rs. 7,000 per month, or the state minimum wage, whichever is higher. This ensures fairer distribution for lower-income earners.
  • The bonus should be paid within 8 months of the accounting year’s end.

Feel empowered to ask your employer’s HR department for more details about your specific bonus eligibility and calculation.


How to Calculate Statutory Bonus in India

The image provides a step-by-step guide to determine the bonus amount an employee is eligible for under the Payment of Bonus Act. Here’s a breakdown:

Step 1: Check Eligibility

  • Salary Cap: The act applies to employees whose basic salary + dearness allowance is less than Rs. 21,000 per month.
  • Minimum Service: You must have completed at least 30 working days in the relevant accounting year.

Step 2: Calculate Bonus Amount

Scenario 1: Salary below Rs. 7,000 (or state minimum wage)

  • The bonus is calculated on your actual salary (basic salary + dearness allowance).
  • Use the formula: Bonus = (Salary) x 8.33%.

Scenario 2: Salary above Rs. 7,000 (or state minimum wage)

  • The bonus is calculated on a maximum of Rs. 7,000 (or the state minimum wage, whichever is higher).
  • Use the formula: Bonus = Rs. 7,000 x 8.33%.

Important Notes:

  • The bonus amount is capped at 20% of your annual wages.
  • The bonus must be paid within 8 months of the accounting year’s end.


  • If your salary is Rs. 5,000 per month, your bonus would be Rs. 416.5 per month (Rs. 4,998 per year).
  • If your salary is Rs. 12,000 per month, your bonus would be Rs. 583 per month (Rs. 6,997 per year) calculated on Rs. 7,000.


Understanding Bonus Payment Methods and Time Limits

Ever wonder how and when you receive your bonus in India? Here’s the scoop:

Method: Forget fancy footwork! Your statutory bonus under the Payment of Bonus Act is paid in cold, hard cash. This means perks or allowances disguised as a bonus are a no-go. Transparency is key!

Timing: Patience is a virtue, but not for too long. Your bonus must arrive within 8 months of the accounting year’s end. So, if the year closes on March 31st, expect your bonus by November 30th, no later.


  • This applies to bonuses under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. Other bonus plans may have different rules.
  • Check with your employer’s HR department for specific details about your bonus eligibility and timeframe.

Got it? Now you can watch those bonus months tick by with confidence, knowing exactly when your well-deserved reward arrives!


Flexible Options for Statutory Bonus Payment

The image outlines four methods employers can use to pay the statutory bonus mandated by the Payment of Bonus Act:

Advance Payment Through Salary:

  • Integrate the bonus amount as a separate head within the employee’s salary structure.
  • Once included, the bonus gets automatically distributed through their regular salary payments.

Advance Payment as an Adhoc Head:

  • If the bonus isn’t included in the salary structure, employers can still make an advance payment through a separate “adhoc” head.
  • This method is suitable when the bonus amount is confirmed for the year.

Advance Payment in Bulk:

  • Employers can pay the bonus in advance in multiple installments throughout the year, with varying percentages.
  • This approach offers flexibility but requires clear communication to employees about the payment schedule.

Arrear Payment in Bulk:

  • This option involves paying the entire bonus amount at once after the year’s end, typically after the March payroll is confirmed.
  • It’s a one-time payment and cannot be broken down into installments.

Key Points to Remember:

  • All statutory bonus payments must be made in cash.
  • The deadline for payment is 8 months after the accounting year closes.
  • The method chosen should be clearly communicated to employees.


Who is Excluded from the Payment of Bonus Act in India?

Here’s a breakdown of employees not covered by the Payment of Bonus Act:

Specific Industries:

  • Life insurance companies: Employees in this sector aren’t covered.
  • Maritime: Seafarers as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, are excluded.
  • Dockworkers: Individuals registered or listed under the Dock Workers Act, 1948, specifically those employed by registered/listed employers.
  • Government-controlled industries: Employees in industries controlled by the Central or State governments are not eligible.

Non-Profit Organizations:

  • Educational institutions: Employees working in schools, colleges, etc., are not covered.
  • Indian Red Cross Society: Staff working for this organization are excluded.
  • Other Non-Profits: Employees of not-for-profit organizations generally fall outside the Act’s scope.

Specific Employers:

  • Contractors on building operations: Individuals hired by contractors for construction work are not eligible.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI): Employees of the central bank are not covered.
  • Financial institutions: Employees of corporations under the State Financial Corporation Act, 1951 (SFC Act), IFCI, Deposit Insurance Corporation, Agriculture Refinance Corporation, and any public sector financial institution notified by the Central Government are excluded.

Additional Categories:

  • Inland water transport establishments: Employees working in this sector are not eligible for the bonus.

Remember: This list provides a general overview. For specific situations, consulting with legal or HR professionals is recommended.


Bonus vs. Statutory Bonus in India: A Comparison



Statutory Bonus


An additional payment given to an employee based on various factors like performance, company profits, or special occasions.

A compulsory payment made by employers to eligible employees under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.

Basis for Payment

Can be based on individual performance, company performance, festivals, or other factors.

Based on the company’s available surplus (profits after deductions) and employee eligibility.


Varies depending on the company’s bonus policy and employee’s performance.

Open to all employees earning below Rs. 21,000 per month, who have worked at least 30 days in the accounting year (exceptions apply).


Can vary significantly depending on individual/company performance and policy.

Minimum of 8.33% and maximum of 20% of wages, capped at Rs. 7,000 or state minimum wage (whichever is higher).

Payment Frequency

Varies depending on the company’s policy, could be annual, semi-annual, or even monthly.

Paid within 8 months of the accounting year’s end.


May be taxable depending on the nature and amount of the bonus.

Partially taxable if exceeding Rs. 35,000 per year.

Legal Requirement

Not mandatory for companies.

Mandatory for covered establishments under the Act.

Additional Points:

  • Bonuses are typically considered an incentive or reward, while statutory bonuses are a legal right for eligible employees.
  • Companies may offer additional bonuses on top of the statutory bonus.
  • Statutory bonus calculations are standardized, while bonuses may have complex formulas or criteria.

Disclaimer: This information is for general awareness purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for specific questions about bonuses and statutory bonuses in India.


Who Gets a Statutory Bonus?

You're eligible if:
You earn up to Rs. 21,000 per month. You've worked for at least 30 days in the past year.

What is meaning of Statutory Bonus in simple words?

It's a mandatory payment based on the company's profits, not your performance. The amount ranges from 8.33% to 20% of your salary, capped at Rs. 7,000 or the state minimum wage, whichever is higher.

Can I lose my Bonus?

Yes, if you're dismissed for reasons like fraud, misconduct, or excessive absences.

When do I get it?

Within 8 months of the accounting year's end. Some companies pay advance bonuses earlier.

Is it part of my salary?

No, it's a separate payment, but some companies include it in their "Cost to Company" (CTC) figures.

Is it taxed?

Partially. Only the amount exceeding Rs. 35,000 per year is taxed.

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