Compensation Strategies: Fixed Salaries and Allowances

Paying employees a fixed salary might seem simple – just issue the same amount each month, no wage calculations or overtime concerns. But it's not that straightforward. To attract and retain talent while staying within your budget, you must understand various fixed allowances. This article from Recruitery on “what is a fixed salary" provides essential insights to enhance your approach, covering types of allowances and key information.

fixed salary

What is a fixed salary?

A fixed salary, also known as a predetermined and constant compensation, is the established sum provided to an employee by the employer following each payroll period. This fixed remuneration encompasses all assured earnings from the company, typically distributed as a monthly or yearly wage.

Supplementary payments towards elements such as health insurance, retirement funds, or provisions like car and housing allowances may be incorporated into fixed compensation, depending upon company guidelines and/or the terms of employment.

The designation 'fixed' signifies a consistent disbursement to an employee, regardless of their work hours or the standard of their performance.

Benefits and drawbacks associated with fixed salary 

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of fixed salary to a company

Key Benefits of Fixed Salaries

  • Stability Preferred by Employees: Workers appreciate the predictability of fixed compensation.

  • Streamlined Payroll Processing: Fixed pay simplifies the payroll administration.

  • Overtime Calculations Not Required: Eliminates the complexity of overtime calculations.

  • Talent Attraction and Retention: The inclusion of allowances enhances talent attraction and retention.

talent attraction

Challenges Associated with Fixed Salaries:

  • Equality Concerns: Low-performing colleagues receiving the same pay can lead to dissatisfaction.

  • Performance Motivation: Fixed pay lacks the incentive for employees to strive for better performance.

  • Reduced Corporate Flexibility: Fixed pay obliges the employer to provide a consistent salary to employees regardless of workload fluctuations.

equality concerns

Fixed salary allowances examples

Below is a compilation of fixed salary benefits that can complement the base pay for your employees. Keep in mind that every company has unique needs, so select the allowances that align most effectively with your workforce's requirements.

Housing allowance

Housing allowances represent financial support provided by organizations to cover employee housing expenses for particular roles or situations. For instance, diplomats commonly receive housing as part of their compensation package. In the corporate realm, employers might use housing allowances to incentivize employees to move to a pricier or less attractive location for work.

Transportation allowance

Transportation allowances are additional funds allocated for employees' work-related travel costs that usually covers:

  • Car fuel, maintenance, and insurance

  • Public transportation passes

  • Parking fees or spot rentals

For non-remote companies, providing transportation allowances offers several benefits. It ensures punctuality and underscores the organization's commitment to a healthy work-life balance, enabling efficient commutes. Additionally, offering public transport passes can align with your eco-conscious business values.

Meal allowance

Meal allowances encompass compensation for employee food and beverage expenses that usually include:

  • Lunch, snacks, and coffee breaks

  • Client meals

  • Food during business trips, full-day conferences, or overtime

  • Office events

  • Grocery expenses

In the past, meal allowances were exclusively work-related. However, modern companies often provide meal allowances that employees can use for home groceries as well. Forward-thinking organizations recognize that promoting a healthy lifestyle has a positive impact on performance, morale, and overall well-being.

Training allowance

A training allowance is financial support provided to employees for their professional development, which may or may not be directly relevant to their current job. According to a LinkedIn report, 94% of employees indicated they would be more likely to remain with their company if offered greater learning and development opportunities.

training allowance

Work Equipment Allowance

A work equipment allowance is a compensation provided to employees who utilize their personal devices for work-related tasks. For instance, employees might use their own equipment for:

  • Work-related calls

  • Company social media engagement

  • Attending meetings

  • Managing and responding to emails

  • Utilizing job-specific applications

  • Staying available on workplace communication platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams

The primary advantage of a work equipment allowance is ensuring that all employees have access to current and functional tools for their job tasks. These allowances also create an equitable environment, bridging financial disparities among employees, which can boost morale and foster better working relationships.


How to distinguish between fixed salary and variable salary?

The primary distinction lies in their structure. A fixed salary remains constant, regardless of the employee's performance or the company's profitability. On the other hand, a variable salary is contingent on performance, potentially fluctuating based on the employee's achievements, meeting targets, or the company's overall performance.

How to calculate a fixed salary?

It's crucial to emphasize that the computation of basic wages can differ between companies, with no universally standardized approach. Often, an inverted approach is employed, involving a deduction from the overall salary and CTC (Cost to Company) to determine the basic wage.

Various methods are available for calculating basic pay, and two commonly used formulas include:

Formula 1

Basic Salary = Gross Pay - Total Allowances


Formula 2

Basic Salary = Percentage of the CTC or Gross Pay


Creating your structured compensation plan might demand initial effort, but the benefits are significant. Employees flourish when they can count on the stability of fixed pay rather than experiencing fluctuating incomes. 

Additionally, by identifying your employees' preferences and necessities, you can determine the ideal combination of allowances to enhance their performance. This leads to contented employees who are more engaged and productive.

We trust this article from Recruitery equips you with valuable insights about what is fixed salary and the allowances that can come with it!