I work in healthcare in India in sales.

Before joining 'X' organization, a salary included with a variable pay was decided. I agreed to it and signed the offer & appointment letter.

Cut to one month later when I receive my salary, it is 2000 less than expected because of PF and PT deductions (which was decided that my gross will be independent of the deductions, I still go ahead and accept this), but the salary came in with Zero rupees of variable pay.

After asking my HR about the variable pay, the person is reluctant on answering the question in a straightforward way. The HR person is redirecting the work to their senior and won't give me a straightforward answer.

Before joining, it was clear that I will be receiving the variable pay and it has also been mentioned in my offer letter.

I am confused on what exactly should my next steps be?

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    @GregoryCurrie Absolutely, as mentioned in my offer, I am supposed to be paid 250/lac of sale I make, I pretty much over exceeded that amount. No target policies have been shared with me as yet. Sep 15, 2022 at 6:38
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    I'm really hesitant to write an answer, because I don't know what the situation is like in India. I would recommend getting as much as possible in writing. It sounds like you are contractually obligated to that pay, so carefully read your contract, and then write a letter clearly itemising the factors. What they deny will inform your next steps. Sep 15, 2022 at 7:18
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    "it has also been mentioned in my offer letter." What does your actual contract state?
    – sf02
    Sep 15, 2022 at 12:10
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    Are you sure that this "variable pay" and no a "commission". What exactly does your offer letter or contract say ?
    – Hilmar
    Sep 15, 2022 at 12:39
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    What do PF and PT stand for ? Sep 15, 2022 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


First of all, from your description:

"as mentioned in my offer, I am supposed to be paid 250/lac of sale I make,.."

it sounds like something known as incentive, not a variable pay.

Without getting into your specific context (NOTE - IANAL) : In India , variable pay is given out either quarterly, half-yearly or annually (most common frequency) based on your overall performance, measured by the Key performance Indicators (KPIs). It's rare that your variable pay will be given out monthly, so check the terms and conditions again.

That said, you did the right thing to reach out to HR for clarifications. If they are redirecting you to someone higher-up, please follow up with them. Also, keep your manager informed about the same. At times, they can explain / sort things out much faster that you will be able to.

Your immediate next step:

  • First, communicate on-record (in writing, ex: emails) asking about the discrepancy.
  • Then, try calling them up, check if they have answers right away, If not, request them to respond to your mail.
  • If the concerned person is avoiding the communication, loop in your and their manager / boss and send reminders.
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    I would also consult with a local lawyer, who can better advise what to do. If the company is really paying less than what they agreed to in the written contract, it's quite different than if they are paying exactly what they agreed to in the written contract, no matter how it might have sounded to OP during the verbal negotiations.
    – Stef
    Sep 15, 2022 at 13:40
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    @Stef I'm inclined to believe that this is a misunderstanding (or missing fine prints), but yes, if it turns out to be deviation from what is written in the contract, then yes, it's time to call the lawyer. (better call Saul) Sep 15, 2022 at 14:11
  • It's obviously a deviation from the OP's understanding of the contract, and expectations; which is why I think that only a lawyer would be able to tell whether this is a deviation from the written contract or not.
    – Stef
    Sep 15, 2022 at 14:13
  • @Stef I don't disagree, but before reaching out to a lawyer, I'd probably wait for the HR to clarify. Definitely the next stage is a lawyer, just not before hearing the other side at least. Sep 15, 2022 at 14:18
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    @ShravanKarmarkar I am not telling you to engage in "legal action". I am telling you that a lawyer could give you better advice. No one wants to engage in legal action over something like this if it can be avoided. "legal actions suck up your time and it won't be resolved till a long time" is not specific to India - it's like that all over the world.
    – Stef
    Sep 19, 2022 at 7:54

I’ll just give a partial answer: “x lied to me” is a very strong accusation. One that burns bridges. A liar is intentionally and maliciously misleading you. That accusation isn’t made lightly, and you are unlikely to stay with the company either way.

Maybe it’s a matter of knowing the English language. Much less problematic would be “I think what I was told may not have been correct, or there is some misunderstanding.”

  • I am well aware of the words that I am using. I appreciate that you pointed this out, but being lied to is a very straightforward thing. Prior to the job confirmation, I had asked the HR multiple times if they will pay me the variable every month? The HR agreed to that, although verbally, it was also mentioned in my offer letter. If that is the case, I believe that I am being lied to. Therefore, a strong accusation is being made from my side. Sep 19, 2022 at 6:09
  • It is a strong accusation that burns bridges - whether it is true or false.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 20, 2022 at 11:04

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