How to Hire Remote Employees In 

India

The Basics

Currency
Indian Rupee (INR)
Employer Taxes
13.08%
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Official Language
Hindi, English

Employment in 

India

Hire Independent Contractors

Independent contractors or freelancers are self-employed individuals who provide services to companies as a non-employee. This is one of the most common ways companies tend to hire non-local designers, engineers, support reps, etc.

For legal and tax purposes, independent contractors are not classified as employees. They may work for multiple clients, set their own work hours, negotiate their pay rate, and decide how a job gets done.

For example, the IRS says that if an independent contractor or freelancer does work that can be controlled (what will be done and how it will be done) by an employer then they are, in fact, classified as an employee.

As you can imagine, hiring someone as an independent contractor versus an employee is a fine line to tread.

While there are benefits when you choose the contractor route, there are quite a few drawbacks to consider and you’ll need to weigh them carefully to determine the best fit for your company.

Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors
Time savings: Hiring through a subsidiary or EOR can take months of onerous paperwork and legal wrangling. This is only multiplied if you want to hire in multiple countries.
Reduced overhead: You can save tens of thousands of dollars in onboarding costs by hiring through a company like Panther. You also have fewer responsibilities to provide benefits, further reducing overhead.
Greater flexibility: Contractors can be brought on as-needed. If they are not a good fit, you can choose not to renew them without incurring significant additional termination costs.
Reduced legal risk: Contractors generally don't have the host of legal protections that typically cover full-time employees.
Disadvantages of Hiring Independent Contractors
Risk of Misclassification: While it's important to understand local contractor law, for most firms, misclassification risk is minimal.
Lack of Control: For a worker to be classified as a contractor, they should be allowed to work independently on their assigned tasks. Hiring full-time employees offers a wider range of management options.
Lack of Loyalty: Contractors come and go as-needed. Many companies hire contractors for short-term work, which makes it difficult to cultivate loyalty.

Set up a subsidiary in 

India

A foreign subsidiary is a company that operates overseas as part of a larger company who’s HQ is in another country.

Establishing a foreign entity is great for having an international presence and accessing new markets. Though, setting up a subsidiary in India can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. It's not for the faint of heart.

To set up a subsidiary in India, you have to:

  1. Register your business name and file articles of incorporation
  2. File for local bank accounts
  3. Learn and keep track of the local employment laws
  4. Set up local payroll
  5. Hire local accounting, legal, and HR people

If you're lucky, this process can take months. If you're not so lucky, it can take up to a year. And on average, it costs about $50k-$80k, all-in-all, to get setup. And that's just for India.

Use an Employer-of-Record (EOR)

An employer-of-record (EOR) is a company that hires and pays an employee on behalf of another company.

An EOR is typically used to overcome the financial and regulatory hurdles that often come with employing remote workers.

Each country has its own payroll, employment, and work permit requirements for non-resident companies doing business in their jurisdiction. Meeting those demands can be a huge obstacle when it comes to hiring remotely.

At Panther, we help companies employ and pay people in over 160 countries, without having to set up a foreign subsidiary. Payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and more are all handled by us, at a fraction of the cost.

Outside of saving you months and tens of thousands of dollars, other advantages of using Panther are:

  • Ability to attract talented and motivated employees from all over the world.
  • Full legal compliance: There is no risk of violating local employment laws.
  • Transparency: Employees are still your employees. All the work, processes, operations and day-to-day business belong to you, the company, just like with any other employee. Panther just takes on all of the responsibilities, obligations and admin work related to your team's employment.
  • No risk of misclassification

Because you no longer have to set up your own subsidiary, you’ll save a ton of time and tens of thousands of dollars using Panther.

Paying Remote Employees

Paying employees in India is not the same as paying workers in your own country. Employees have to be paid using India’s employment and payroll standards.

This means that you have to know, understand, and keep up with 1) fluctuating currency changes, and 2) local payroll and tax laws in the countries you’re looking to hire in.

Outside of the laws and regulations around payroll, there may be different conditions surrounding leave, overtime, termination, and more. As you can imagine, maintaining this kind of regulatory knowledge can be challenging. But it is crucial and necessary to follow local legislation.

After, you’ll have to determine the best way to pay your international employees. This can be done in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

Pay through a local entity

One of the most challenging (and expensive) parts of paying international employees is setting up the infrastructure to do so.

Before you start to run payroll, you have to register your company as the local employer in the country the worker resides in. As you can see in the “Set up a subsidiary” section, this is a multi-step process that can take up to a year and put you on your way to bankruptcy.

Work with an EOR

Outside of EORs acting as the full admin employer, many also provide remote payroll.

For example, at Panther, in just 1-click, you’re able to pay your entire global team, anywhere in the world. We send you an invoice each month, charge you in US Dollars, and pay your employees the same amount in their local currency.

We factor in currency fluctuations and use the mid-market rate plus any applicable fee passed on by our provider at cost at the time of billing.

India

 Specific Information

Working Hours

A full-time workweek is 48 hours.

Overtime

Overtime is paid double the rate of the normal pay.

Payroll Tax

Employer

  • 13.08% - Employer Contributions

Minimum Wage

Minimum wages in India differ according to the governing state and workers’ skill set.

Payroll

Pay Cycle

Employees must be paid by the last day of the month, however, it is customary to pay employees from the 28th of the month onward.

13th Salary

None.

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

  • Employees are entitled to 15 paid annual vacation days. A maximum of 30 vacation days can be carried over to the next year.

Public Holidays

There are 3 national holidays where businesses must be closed; Republic Day, Independence Day, and Ghandi Jayanti. In addition to this, each region has their own public holidays that are observed

Sick Days

Employees are allowed a maximum of 15 paid sick leave days a year and receive 70% of their average daily wage.

Maternity Leave

Employees receive 100% of their average wage in the six months prior to childbirth. The amount of fully paid time leave depends on the number of children an employee has.

First 2 children – 26 weeks paid
3 or more children – 12 weeks paid

Paternity Leave

New fathers are entitled to 2 days’ leave for the birth of their child or a miscarriage.

Parental Leave

There are no statutory laws for parental leave.

Other Leave

Casual leave: provided for urgent and unexpected matters. Typically companies have a strict maximum of three days a month, and 6 yearly. Casual leave is not encashable. At the end of the year, unused leave lapse automatically.

Work-related injury leaves: Work injury benefits come from the contributions made towards the employees’ compensation and employees’ state insurance. Temporally disabled workers receive 50% compensation monthly.

Marriage Leave

None.

Bereavement Leave

None.

Termination

Termination Process

If termination isn’t specified in a contract, an employer must give 30 days’ notice or payment in lieu to an employee who has worked for at least 3 months. No notice is required for termination due to misconduct.

Notice Period

A 30 days’ notice period should be given.

Severance Pay

Severance payment is given to workers who have been continuously employed for 2 years and are terminated for redundancy. Severance payment reflects the duration of employment, performance, and salary.

Probation Period

None.