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Leave Entitlements in Mexico: A Guide for Overseas Employers

When your company hires remote workers overseas, you will be offering employee benefits and entitlements based on the foreign country’s employment regulations.  One of the most important of these are leave entitlements, which detail how much time is allotted for vacation, sickness or childbirth.

This guide will go through the various entitlements you will need to know for your employees in Mexico, and they will expect these just as they would with a Mexican employer.

What are the leave entitlements for employees in Mexico?

Paid Vacation Time

Paid vacation is offered each year to all employees, and here is the way it is calculated based on length of service.

Length of ServicePaid Vacation
1 year6 days
2 years8 days
3 years10 days
4 years12 days
5 to 9 years14 days
10 to 14 years16 days
15 to 19 years18 days
20 to 24 years 20 days
25 to 29 years22 days
30 to 34 years 24 days

Vacation Prima

In addition to the paid vacation days, an employee in Mexico also receives a vacation premium known as prima.  It is calculated as 25% of the daily salary, multiplied times the number of vacation days, and is intended to help pay the costs of vacation.

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Paid Sick Leave

To get paid for sick leave, the employee will need a medical authorization from the Social Security Institute.  Leave is paid by social security at 60% of their salary, from the fourth day of illness up to one year.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Women receive 6 weeks paid leave prior to birth and 6 weeks following birth, and for adoption there is 6 weeks leave following placement of the child.  New fathers receive 5 days of paid paternity leave following birth or adoption.

Alguinaldo – Christmas Bonus

There is a Christmas bonus in Mexico, to be paid by December 20 each year.  The bonus is calculated as 15 working days of salary, plus allowance, but it is calculated based on a 365- day year.

Public Holidays in Mexico

There are eight paid public holidays in Mexico as well:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • First Monday in February: Constitution Day
  • March 16: Benito Juárez’s Birthday. Observed third Monday in March.
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • September 16: Independence Day
  • November 20: Revolution Day. Observed third Monday in November.
  • December 1: Inauguration Day. (This holiday occurs every six years with the swearing in of a new Mexican President. The last such day was in 2018.)
  • December 25: Christmas

Client Case:  Employee worked on a public holiday

Our client with employees in Mexico had one employee who mistakenly worked on Independence Day, a public holiday.  They wanted to know how to handle it and we told them that public holidays are mandatory in Mexico and they would need to find a way to offset it.

The client decided to offer a day off work at the end of the month to make up for the missed holiday.  At their request, we provided them with a list of holidays for the upcoming year for their reference.  This is an easy area to miss when you have remote employees in another country who are not working in an office environment.  Some employees might be reluctant to remind their employer of local holidays, so you might have to be proactive.

Do you need more information about Mexico?

If you are new to hiring in Mexico, you might have other questions such as:

Are there restrictions on terminating employees who are currently on leave?

If the total annual vacation entitlement is not taken, can it be carried over to the next year?

Is the vacation premium taxable and applied to social contribution calculations like salary?

These are the kind of questions that are clients bring us to make sure they are in compliance and that their foreign employees feel secure and supported.  We make international employment simple.

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Looking to hire an employee in Mexico? Get in touch.


The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

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