An Overview of India’s Working Condition

India’s working conditions and wages are way different from the ones in Western countries. Just like in many other countries, the official work week in the country is from Monday to Saturday, and working hours begin at 10 am to 6 pm. Unfortunately for laborers, overtime is the norm and many local companies do not compensate their workers for their overtime work.

India’s work culture is very diverse. There are big differences depending on whether you work for small, local companies for huge Indian corporations or for international companies. Also, business practices vary between regions.

Work Practices

In the Indian culture, the importance of hierarchies can be quite visible in the daily work environment. Employees of various levels are being treated differently. From a Western point of view, the behaviors of superiors towards other junior employees may seem very rude, but in India, it is just normal. Even though such treatment might make senior level employees uncomfortable, they need to adapt the practice as other junior employees will only try to take advantage of their kindness. Employees in the lower hierarchy levels might treat you nice but expect favors in return.

Apparently, communicating with Indian companies is one thing that most expatriates have trouble getting used to. Unlike fairly relaxed business meetings, formality plays a significant role in Indian work place and giving instructions are direct. It is also to the extent of refusing to address each other at work with their first names.


The sad truth is an average wages in India are only a portion of salaries in Western countries. But, at least they are increasing at rates between 12 to 14 percent every year. Expatriates typically earn way higher wages than Indians, but it still depends on whether they work for Indians or international companies.

Indian wages are expressed in lakhs, increments of hundreds of thousands. Initially, this might be confusing but it is way easier to handle than millions of Rupees.

If you have been assigned to India by your own company from overseas, usually, your salary will be at a Western level. Also, you’ll be provided with the full list of benefits available to all employees in USA and Europe, and your monthly wage will be three times bigger than your local counterpart.

Moreover, international companies also provide special expatriate allowances, like housing allowance, 3 to 5 weeks vacation with pay, a round trip plane ticket annually and a full health care coverage and the likes.

Meanwhile, if you work under an Indian company, the circumstances changes. Your wage will be significantly lower. Despite the fact that you are earning more than you Indian colleagues, your wage will never reach the Western level.

In addition, Indian companies typically do not offer the fancy expat benefits offered by international companies. Fortunately for employees, Indian companies at least provide fringe benefits which play a significant role in every Indian’s pay check and can actually account up to 50 percent of the actual wage.

And, since fringe benefits are being taxed at a lower rate than usual income, which is called the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), they are generally used to lessen the required tax payments. Usual benefits include sick leave, vacation leave and maternity leave with pay and health insurance. The amount of health care amount varies greatly depending on an employee’s job. Typically, it is around Rs10,000 per month.

Vacations and Holidays

India has 15 to 20 paid public holidays, depending on where you work. Indian employees usually get a minimum of 12 days vacation with pay in addition, while expatriates are commonly entitled to 18 to 30 days vacation with pay in a year. But – make sure that these vacation and holidays regulations are clearly cited in your contract of employment.