In the model I'm creating, we've got four different kinds of salary. I'd like a confirmation on the correct taxonomy of these.

  1. The normal amount one gets every month. Should it be called fix salary or base salary?
  2. The variable amount that depends on how much work one has billed to the customers. Should it be called prestation salary or provision salary?
  3. The freebies as phone, car, representation etc. Should it be called benefit salary or extra salary?
  4. The additional amount one gets when working nights, weekends etc. Should it be called supplement salary or extra salary?

Please, feel free to suggest other terms.

  • 2
    It think the appropriate terms will vary quite a bit depending on where you are (e.g. US terms might not work well in the UK or South Africa)
    – Mat
    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:00

4 Answers 4


In the UK we would call these:

  1. Base salary (or just "salary")
  2. Commission
  3. Benefits in kind (or just "benefits")
  4. Overtime
  • What'd be US terms for these? Aug 23, 2013 at 9:55
  • 2
    @KonradViltersten - I'm in the US and those terms work just fine here too.
    – Lynn
    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:17

The levels of salary you ask for are more complicated than you have characterized. Having done payroll for a company, these are the levels of compensation with which I am familiar. It is probably more than you wanted to know.

There are several levels of employment with incremental increases in pay, commission, bonuses, and benefits also called perquisites, or perks for short. A few examples: At the bottom of pay level there are part-time employees, but service-part-time is the lowest – waiters and waitresses usually below 20 hours per week. Wait-person minimum wage is lower than normal minimum wage due to tips. Then you have part-time such as factory or office workers doing 20-30 hours per week, and then partial full-time between 30 and 40 hours. Full time is 40 hours plus overtime past 40 hours, and usually includes health care insurance they pay for at about half of cost. Most of these only get base pay, not salary, because it is paid hourly. The main difference for these employees is how much they have to pay out of pocket for health insurance, if the company even offers it. Fewer hours means insurance costs cut deeper into family budgets.

Most companies place sales people between full-time (such as office workers) and management, though that is not the case for big retail stores. Sales has three levels of compensation: associate, salesperson, agent. Associates have sales quotas, get low commissions, sometimes working for commission only, and they pay their way, except for things like mileage for gas or other legitimate travel costs, but not meals, phones, or car rentals. Associates normally work in-house. (Keep in mind any employee sent across country by plane has all expenses reimbursed.) Independent sales people (who have to leave the office to see clients) get full commissions, with bonuses for productive referrals, but no overtime pay, no matter how many hours they work to meet sales quotas or projections. Sales people also get full coverage of most travel expenses, and have long distance phone calls covered, but have to use their own car and phone. Sometimes they work for commission only as base pay, but the better companies, with good sales people offer base salary plus commissions, and health insurance is partially or fully covered. Agents typically get a leased car for which they make the payments, a free phone, and travel expenses in advance in the form of travel budgets or company expense credit cards, and fully covered insurance. Agents also get bonuses for meeting or exceeding sales projections.

Above sales is middle management like section supervisors, though agents are also considered middle management. These salary employees, and some small bonuses, but no overtime pay. Often their insurance is covered better than regular full-time employees by the company. They may get small perquisites (perks) such as a phone, or a temporary leased car if it entails travel to remote offices, or client locations.

Management typically gets a "fixed salary," perks, including expense accounts, company credit cards, all paid for work related expenses, travel incentives (in compensation for the inconvenience of traveling, they get extra,) company owned/leased cars, bonuses, and sometimes incentives like stock options offered at lower prices than the market. ($10 instead of $15 for instance.) They still have to pay for the stocks, though. Above management is "Executive compensation," plus short- and long-term incentives, benefits, bonuses, and stock offers which means all the previous compensation levels combined, plus large bonuses and incentives. These typically run in the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars all together.


Bearing in mind the warnings given by Avner and Mat, you could try:-

1.The normal amount one gets every month: Salary

2.The variable amount that depends on how much work one has billed to the customers: Commission

3.The freebies as phone, car, representation etc: Perquisites

4.The additional amount one gets when working nights, weekends etc: Overtime

Some might think it odd to have overtime and salary payable to the same person, but it isn't unheard of.

  • All of these work in the UK. Perquisites is generally just perks.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:36
  • I would suggest that 'perks' is fine for informal UK usage, but that 'Benefits' would be better in documentation.
    – TrevorD
    Aug 23, 2013 at 10:14
  • Why would overtime and salary toghether be so odd? Example: 08:00 to 17:00 = $120/h. 17:00 to 20:00 = additional $80/h, total $200/h. Aug 23, 2013 at 13:20
  • @KonradViltersten, sometimes positions paying "salary" don't pay overtime; the employee is expected to work "the hours required". Where overtime is payed, the normal amount might be called the "wage". Aug 23, 2013 at 13:29
  • Oh, I love Swedish system. We're so used to all the protective social fabric, we're a bit spoiled. However, I myself negotiated the overtime pay too. I get one more week of vacation instead. :) Aug 23, 2013 at 20:45

As far as I know there can only be one salary - Basic/Fixed Salary The rest are all perks/commissions/incentives etc

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