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Working Conditions in Mexico

1. Minimum Working Conditions

The FLL provides for the following minimum benefits, which may not be waived whatsoever:

  1. Social security benefits.
  2. Profit Sharing.
  3. Paid Mandatory Holidays.
  4. Vacation Premium.
  5. Christmas Bonus.

2. Salary

A. Minimum Salary

The minimum salary is defined as the lowest minimum cash payment that a worker may receive for services rendered in a given time period. Since October 1st, 2015, minimum general salaries and minimum professional salaries are established in one unique region throughout the country.

As of January 1, 2015, the minimum general salary in Zone A was MXN$70.10 (approximately US$3.75) per day, and the minimum general salary in Zone B was MXN$66.45 (approximately US$3.56) per day.

As of October 1, 2015, the minimum general salary in the Unique Zone was MXN$70.10 (approximately US$3.75) per day.

As of January 1, 2016, the minimum general salary in the Unique Zone is MXN$73.04 (approximately US$3.91) per day.

B. Other Requirements Concerning Salaries

Salary includes cash payments for wages, plus bonuses, housing provided by the employer, premiums, commissions, in-kind benefits, and “any other amount or benefit that is given to the worker for his work”; it does not include profit-sharing payments.

3. Maximum Working Week

The work shift is the time in which the worker is at the disposal of the employer in order to perform work. In most instances, the work shift corresponds to the time interval the worker actually spends working, but the two concepts may differ where the worker is unable to complete the work shift because of reasons outside of his or her control.

A. Work Shifts

Mexican labor law recognizes three work shifts, as follows:

  • day shift, with a length of eight hours, between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.;
  • night shift, lasting seven hours, between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; and
  • swing or “mixed” shift, lasting seven and one-half hours, divided between the day and night shifts, provided that less than three and one-half hours of the time is during the night shift.

B. Rest Periods

Workers are given a rest period of at least one-half hour during a work shift.

C. Hours Per Week

The principle of a 48-hour workweek, which presupposes one complete day of rest with full pay, is officially the law of the land. However, in some employment relationships, such as in government service, the banking sector, and in much of the private sector, a 40-hour workweek has been established.

4. Overtime

Section XI of Article 123 of the Constitution limits overtime to 3 hours per day and provides that it may not be performed on more than 3 consecutive days. However, pursuant to a binding opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Justice, overtime must be calculated and paid on a weekly basis; this means it should not exceed 9 hours a week.

Furthermore, overtime must be paid at twice the hourly rate of pay. Article 68 of the FLL establishes that if overtime extends beyond 9 hours per week, the overtime beyond 9 hours must be paid at triple the hourly rate.

Persons under 16 years of age and pregnant or nursing mothers, if it endangers the worker or the child’s life, are not permitted to engage in overtime work.

5. Holidays

Article 74 of the FLL establishes the following mandatory holidays:

  • January 1st;
  • the first Monday in February, in commemoration of February 5th;
  • the third Monday in March, in commemoration of March 21;
  • May 1st;
  • September 16;
  • the third Monday in November, in commemoration of November 20;
  • December 1st of every six years, on the day of the national presidential inauguration;
  • December 25; and
  • the election day scheduled by federal and local electoral laws.

Workers who are required to work on a mandatory holiday are entitled to double pay in addition to their regular pay.

6. Employer’s Obligation to Provide a Healthy and Safe Workplace

Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution places the burden on employers to provide workers with a safe workplace.

Title IX of the FLL also deals with occupational safety and health. Under these provisions, employers have the obligation to set up enterprises in accordance with the principles of worker safety and health, and to take necessary actions to ensure that contaminants do not exceed the maximum levels allowable under the regulations and instructions issued by competent authorities. Employers also are obligated, when required by the authorities, to make physical modifications in facilities to accommodate the safety and health of workers.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Mexico, please contact Oscar De La Vega, Partner at De La Vega & Martinez Rojas S.C. (www.dlvmr.com.mx) at ODelaVega@dlvmr.com.mx
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