India: Payment Of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015


In September, 2015, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment took on record the 12 demands put forth by various trade unions and provided assurance that the Central Government is positively working towards resolving at least 9 of such demands. Among others, the trade unions had insisted that for the purposes of payment of bonus, the wage eligibility limit and calculation ceiling be revised to meet current economic trends. The trade unions proposed that the wage eligibility limit be increased from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 and the calculation ceiling from INR 3,500 to INR 7,000 or the minimum wage notified by the appropriate Government for that category of employment, whichever is higher.   Taking into due consideration the demands provided by the trade unions in relation to amendments to be carried out to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 (Principal Act), the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Amendment Bill), was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 7 December 2015 and was passed on 22 December 2015. Without much delay thereafter, the Amendment Bill came to be passed by the Rajya Sabha on 23 December 2015 and being called the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Amendment Act), received the assent of the President of India on 31 December 2015.


The Principal Act provides for the mandatory annual payment of bonus to eligible employees of establishments which employ 20 or more persons. In accordance with the terms of the Principal Act, every employee who draws a salary of INR 10,000 or below per month and who has worked for not less than 30 days in an accounting year, is eligible for bonus (calculated as per the methodology provided under the Principal Act) with the floor of 8.33% of the  salary payable to him/her and a cap on the maximum bonus statutorily payable (20% of the salary). Apart from seeking to broaden the eligibility limit, (from INR 10,000 set out under the Principal Act, the Amendment Act also raises the calculation ceiling for payment of bonus and retrospectively places the onus on employers to make payment of bonuses to eligible employees effective from 1 April 2014.

Details of Amendments and Analysis

The Amendment Act has amended the Principal Act in the following manner:

Amendment of Eligibility Limit

By amending Section 2(13) of the Principal Act, the Amendment Act has now widened the scope of employees eligible for payment of bonus from those drawing salary of INR 10,000 per month, to INR 21,000 per month.

The amendment in the eligibility limit appears to be an initiative which forms a part of the Central Government's pro-labour policy. Interestingly, the last amendment to the eligibility limit was carried out in the year 2007 and over the past decade, the economy has seen significant reforms. These economic reforms have contributed towards an exponential increase in pay-scales making this amendment to the Principal Act very important to the larger populace of the workforce which earns between INR 10,000 and INR 21,000 per month.

Calculation of Bonus

Taking the demands of the trade unions head on, Section 12 of the Principal Act has been amended to state that where the salary or wage of an employee exceeds INR 7,000 per month or the minimum wage for the scheduled employment, the bonus payable to such employee shall be calculated as if his salary or wage were INR 7,000 per month or the minimum wage for the scheduled employment, whichever is higher.

The Principal Act provided that the bonus payable to an employee shall be in proportion to his/her salary. However, where an employee's salary was over INR 3,500 per month, for the purposes of calculating bonus, the salary was to be assumed to be INR 3,500 per month. With a view to maximise bonus earnings, the Amendment Act has increased the wage ceiling for calculation to INR 7,000 and has also factored in possibilities where the minimum wage payable to such employees may be over INR 7,000, thereby giving employees the flexibility to draw a higher amount as bonus.

While this appears to be yet another attempt made by the Government at ensuring employee satisfaction, the inclusion of the minimum wage component in calculating bonus may hinder with the accounting policies of companies having a national presence. It may be noted that in accordance with the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, minimum wage rates may be prescribed at a State as well as a Central level. More often than not, publication of notifications pertaining to minimum wage rates are delayed and have been subject to anomalies. Aggregating relevant data pertaining to minimum wage rates and ensuring that accurate calculations are made, for each state, may obstruct companies in processing the payment of bonuses.

Retrospective Applicability

The Amendment Act is effective from 1 April 2014.

The Amendment Act is certainly a significant step in the interest of the workforce. However, employers should have been provided with a specified timeframe to factor in the increased costs in their accounts in order to comply with the retrospective bonus payment obligations.


While the Amendment Act has been introduced at an opportune moment and with the intention of ensuring that labour laws progress in tandem with the extensive economic reforms that are underway, it is essential for the Government to be mindful of the employer's interest and finances when making any statutory amendments that have retrospective implication.

Hopefully, other labour reforms in the pipeline such as the Government's ambitious plan to reduce the number of labour laws by codifying laws related to industrial relations and social security under uniform codes, will also take into account the employer's interest and provide them with sufficient leeway to prepare and effectively deal with any retrospective amendments.

The content of this document do not necessarily reflect the views/position of Khaitan & Co but remain solely those of the author(s). For any further queries or follow up please contact Khaitan & Co at

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.