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Employment Law in Mexico: a Guide

Employment Law in Mexico: a Guide

For anyone interested in company formation in Mexico or who is already doing business in this North American country, understanding and studiously adhering to local employment law will give you a greater guarantee of success while maintaining the good standing of your company in the eyes of authorities.

A map of Mexico, where investors must properly adhere to employment law to maximize their chances of success
Employment Law in Mexico: In this map, we can see some of the key cities in Mexico.

Employment law in Mexico is overseen by the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, and while many aspects of Mexican employment regulations are similar to those seen in other countries in Latin America, there are also some particularities that must be understood. 

A basic guide to employment law in Mexico is provided below, including sections on standard working hours, types of contracts commonly used by investors, information regarding terminations and severance, details of leave allowances, and guidance on salary-based contributions and deductions that the employer must oversee.

If you would like to find out more about how we can assist you in doing business, learning more about Mexico labor laws, and/or including and implementing employment law in Mexico, contact us today.

Employment law in Mexico: statutory working hours

Under employment law in Mexico, a standard working week is 48 hours long, made up of six days of eight hours and one rest day.

In the event that an employee works for more than 48 hours in a week, they are entitled to additional and proportionate pay for the extra hours worked. Employees are also entitled to a 25% premium on their standard salary when they work on a Sunday, according to Mexican labor laws.

Note that in Mexico, there are generally eight national holidays that fall on weekdays each calendar year, as well as one regional holiday.

Common contracts under employment law in Mexico

There are three main types of contract allowed under employment law in Mexico that investors tend to use;

  1. Indefinite-period contracts are the most widely-used contracts and only end based on mutual agreement between the employer and employee, or when one of the parties has the right to act unilaterally. That right includes an employee’s resignation from their role or an instance of employee misconduct that warrants dismissal by the employer.
  2. Definite-period contracts can only be used either when the nature of the task warrants it, such as for a particular project, or when replacing another worker on a temporary basis, such as for maternity leave or to cover another type of extended absence.
  3. Seasonal contract may only be provided for fixed work of a limited nature that only occurs during a specific period of the year, such as a tourist season or harvest. 
Employment Law in Mexico: The country is an attractive destiny for nearshoring in Latin America

Working Hours

The working day is the time during which the worker is at the disposal of the employer to perform his or her work. The Federal Labour Law establishes the following types of working hours:

  • Daytime: Between 6:00 AM to 20:00 PM
  • Nightly: Between 20:00 PM to 6:00 AM
  • Mixed: its when the shift is arranged with daytime and nightly working hours. The night period must be less than three and a half hours.

The maximum working hours shall be: eight hours during the day, seven hours at night, and seven and a half hours when it is mixed.

Under employment law, there are statutory benefits that are mandatory for employees to receive:

  • Christmas bonus: it would be paid before December 20th each year and shall be equivalent to 15 days of salary.
  • Vacation bonus: The employee shall receive a vacation bonus equivalent to 25% of their base salary.
  • Sunday bonus: If the employee works on Sundays, shall receive 25% of the daily base salary.
  • Senority bonus: if an employee served more than 15 years, they are entitled to 12 days of pay for every year worked.
  • The employer can give to the employees more benefits, these ones are de minimums.

No employee can renounce to these law benefits, they are protected by the constitution and its employer`s obligation to provide them on time.

Termination and severance

Under employment law in Mexico, there is no minimum notice period that employees must provide when they resign, meaning that an employee can resign with immediate effect without penalty. However, it is common for a notice period to be written into the employment contract.

When an employee leaves voluntarily, they are entitled to receive a proportional part of their law benefits depending on number of days worked.

If an employer decides to dismiss an employee without just cause, the employee is entitled to compensation that includes: 

  • Payment for all hours worked
  • Three additional months of salary
  • 20 days of pay for every year worked
  • Seniority subsidy where applicable 
  • Payment for outstanding vacations
  • A proportion of their annual bonus based on how much of the year they have worked 

In the event of dismissal with just cause, such as a crime being committed against the company or persistent absence, the employer must provide the employee with written notice in which a clear referral is made to the conduct warranting the dismissal, as well as the date or dates upon which it occurred.

Vacations, leave, and other absences under Mexican law

Employment law in Mexico lays out that employees are entitled to an annual vacation period established by Article 76 of the Federal Labour Law and as described on the following chart:

Full time Regular Tenure Vacation Days Annual Accrual
Once the employee has completed the first year of work 12 days
After his/her 3-year anniversary 16 days
After his/her 6-year anniversary 20 days

From the sixth year onwards, the leave period shall be increased by two days for every five years of service.

Maternity and paternity leave
New mothers are granted a total of 12 weeks of maternity leave, which begins six weeks prior to a due date documented by a medical professional. In the event of adoption, a new mother is granted six weeks of maternity leave from the day of the adoption.

For new fathers, five days of paternity leave are granted, including in the case of adoption. 

Sick leave
In case of non-occupational illness or injury, an insured employee is entitled to all necessary medical care from the onset of the illness, as well as financial compensation when their illness or injury prevents them from working. 

This compensation will be paid by the social security fund at a rate of 60% of their normal salary, starting from the fourth day of their absence and extended for up to 52 weeks. This is promised by Mexico labor laws.

Bereavement leave
Under employment law in Mexico, there is no statutory right to leave in the case of bereavement, and any such allowance must be agreed with the employer in the event it is not laid out in the terms of the employment contract.

Infografía sobre el mercado en méxico para un artículo sobre Derecho Laboral México
Market overview in Mexico, important to know more about Employment Law in Mexico.

Employment law in Mexico: statutory contributions

Employee deductions:
Income tax is deducted progressively, at a rate that ranges from 1.92% to 35% based on monthly earnings.  That top band applies to anyone earning 3,898,140 Mexican pesos per year (approximately USD 191,226). Additionally, employees have 1.025% of their salary deducted for social security contributions and a further 1.75% deducted for pension contributions.

Employer contributions
According to employment law in Mexico, employers must make a contribution to the social security fund equivalent to 26% of an employee’s salary, while a contribution equal to 5.150% must be made to the pension fund. An additional contribution equal to 5% of an employee’s salary is also made to the National Housing Fund.  

Profit sharing: 
Mexican employment law includes a provision for profit sharing, known as PTU. That requires companies to share 10% of their net annual profits with most employees (see the list of who is eligible in our guide to PTU in Mexico), with 5% of the payment distributed evenly among all eligible employees based on number of days worked during the financial year, while the second 5% is distributed to employees in proportion to the salary they earned during that period. Mexico labor laws enforce these statutory contributions intensely.

Frequently Asked Questions about Labor Laws in Mexico

In our experience, these are the common questions and doubtful points of our Clients.

1. What are the labor laws in Mexico?

Employees in Mexico are entitled to one full day of rest per week and can work up to six days per week. The maximum number of working hours per week is 48, although some collective bargaining agreements may set lower limits at 40 or 45 hours.

2. What are the working conditions in Mexico?

The standard working week in Mexico is 48 hours long, consisting of six days of eight hours each and one rest day. If an employee works more than 48 hours in a week, they are entitled to receive additional and proportionate pay for the extra hours worked.

3. How many hours are in a standard work day in Mexico?

The work day for the Mexican worker is eight hours and it is divided into three shifts. The day shift starts at 6:00 am and ends at 8:00 pm, allowing for a flexible 14-hour work day.

4. What is the minimum salary in Mexico?

The minimum salary in Mexico has been increased to 207.44 pesos ($11.54) per day for employees working in the country. In the Free Zone of the Northern Border, the minimum wage has been raised to 312.41 pesos ($17.38) per day. This increase applies to all employees in Mexico.

5. How is overtime paid in Mexico?

Overtime in Mexico is paid at a rate that is 100 percent higher than the regular working hours. If the overtime exceeds nine hours per week, the employer is required to pay the worker at a rate that is 200 percent higher than the regular working hours.

6. What are the laws regarding employment termination in Mexico?

Employers in Mexico are not obligated to provide advance notice of termination, but they are required to pay severance regardless of the reason for termination.

7. What are the requirements for terminating an employee in Mexico?

To terminate an employee in Mexico, the employer must follow certain requirements:

– Confirm that there are grounds for termination.
– Establish records and documentation of employee behavior.
– File a notice of termination.
– Notify the worker in writing.
– Provide the employee notice in writing within 30 days of knowing about the misconduct.
– Explain the grounds for dismissal.
– Present evidence if the employee seeks to challenge “wrongful termination”.
– Consider collective dismissal if applicable.
– Consider individual dismissal if applicable.

Additionally, it is important for the employer to provide a severance package for employees on indefinite contracts. The severance package can be substantial and includes:

– 20 days of daily wage for each worked year.
– 90 days of daily wage as Constitutional Indemnification.
– 12 days of daily wage as a Seniority Bonus for each year of service that the employee has worked.

8. What happens when an employee quits in Mexico?

When an employee decides to quit their job in Mexico, they are considered to have voluntarily resigned. In this situation, the employee is entitled to receive the proportional part of their statutory benefits depending on the number of days worked. This means that the employer is responsible for providing all benefits, which include Christmas bonus, vacations, Sunday bonus, extra hours and seniority bonus if applicable. However, if the employee has other types of benefits, these should also be included.

Biz Latin Hub can assist you doing business in Mexico

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated packages of back-office services that are tailored to every need. 

Our portfolio includes accounting & taxation, company formation, due diligence, legal services, and hiring & PEO, and we are active in 16 markets around Latin America and the Caribbean, making us ideal partners for supporting multi-jurisdiction market entry and cross-border operations.

Our experience and understanding of the markets where we operate means that working with us comes with the guarantee of compliance with all local regulations, be that employment law in Mexico or any other legal code related to investment. 

Contact us today  to find out more about how we can support you doing business in Mexico.

Or learn more about our team and expert authors.

Infographic from Biz Latin Hub on Employment law in Mexico.

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.