Labor Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

Mexican labor law governs the process by which workers in Mexico may organize labor unions, engage in collective bargaining, and strike. The Constitution’s promised rights, however, remained mere promises until 1931, when the government enacted the Ley Federal de Trabajo or Federal Labor Law. The LFT established Juntas de Conciliación y Arbitraje (the Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration), made up of representatives of the government, employers and labor unions.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The maximum workweek is 48 hours. The work week comprises six working days, but the distribution of hours can be agreed so that employees have all, or part of, Saturday and Sunday as regular days off.


The Mexican workday is divided into 3 shifts:

  • The day shift for a Mexican worker is 8 hours in length. These hours can fit flexibly within the period of 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. The number of hours per spend on the job by Mexican day shift laborer is 48 hours.
  • The night shift in Mexico occurs during a 7 hour period worked between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am. The number of hours constituting the night shift amount to 42 hours. The following are prohibited: unhealthful or dangerous work by women and by minors under sixteen years of age; industrial night work by either of these classes; work by women in commercial establishments after ten o’clock at night and work (of any kind) by persons under sixteen after ten o’clock at night.
  • The mixed shift in Mexico is for a period of 7.5 hours and can consist of hours that are considered part of the day shift and part of the night shift. The night shift component of a mixed shift is limited to 3.5 hours.

Article 59-62 of the Federal Labor Law.


Everything above 48 working hours in a week is considered to be overtime, which is also capped at 9 hours per week (maximum 3 extra hours over 3 days). Overtime is paid to an employee who reaches the legal number of hours stipulated within their shift.


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. Overtime must be paid at twice the hourly rate of pay. Federal Labor Law 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.


Whenever, due to extraordinary circumstances, the regular working hours of a day must be increased, one hundred percent shall be added to the amount for normal hours of work as remuneration for the overtime. Overtime work may never exceed three hours a day nor three times consecutively.


The first 9 overtime hours during the week are considered double, every hour after that is considered triple paid hours.


There are two conditions to determine if overtime hours are considered double or triple paid hours:

  •  The total amount of overtime hours worked during the workweek.
  •  The total amount of hours worked during a single day after a regular shift.

Article 66 of the Federal Labor Law; Section XI of Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution.



Federal Labor Law establishes that during a continuous working of 8 hours per day, the employee must be given a rest or meal period of at least 30 minutes. If the employee cannot leave the workplace during the rest or meal period, the time corresponding to such periods is to be counted as time worked and included as part of the working day.


During Nursing period, the new mother is entitled to 2 additional 30 minutes rest period per day to feed the child in an adequate and hygienic place set aside by the employer. If this is not possible, the parties may agree to reduce her work shift by an hour. Article 63 of the Federal Labor Law; Article 170 of the Federal Labor Law.

Work On Rest Days

Employees are entitled to 1 paid day of rest for every 6 days of work in addition to the required 7 paid holidays. The number of hours attached to each shift is spread over 6-day work week that runs from Monday until Saturday.  Most organizations in Mexico will distribute in five 9.6 hour shifts to limit the work week from Monday to Friday and provide employees with a full weekend. Under such circumstances, Saturday becomes a paid rest.


It is important to note that work on a day of rest is different than overtime and does not count towards the accumulated overtime hours that require triple pay. Article 69-72 of the Federal Labor Law.

Sunday Work

This seventh day can fall on any day of the week, however, employees whose regularly scheduled work shift falls on a Sunday must be paid a premium of 25% above what they are paid on other days, this is known as the Sunday Premium or ‘Prima Dominical.’


Workers required to work on the Sunday, holiday, or any other rest day are entitled to double pay.


If such rest day falls on a Sunday, the worker is entitled to double pay plus the 25% premium. Article 69-72 of the Federal Labor Law.

Public Holidays

Mexico observes the following eight national holidays:

  •  Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  •  First Monday in February: Constitution Day
  •  Third Monday in March: Benito Juarez Day
  •  May 1: International Labor Day
  •  Sept. 16: Independence Day
  •  Third Monday in November: Revolution Day
  •  Dec. 1 every six years (2018, 2024, 2030, etc.): Presidential Inauguration Day
  •  Dec. 25: Christmas Day

Many businesses and labor contracts observe additional days for religious and national celebrations, but employees are not entitled to these days off with pay. Employees required to work on a national holiday are paid triple their wages for that day.

When a public holiday coincides with the weekly rest day ( Sunday),  the employee shall receive triple the salary for that day, plus the 25 percent premium for working on  Sunday as well. Article 74 &75 of the Federal Labor Law.

Annual Leave

Leave entitlements are based on years of service. As per the Mexican Federal Labor Law. paid leave employees are entitled to the following amounts of paid annual leave:

  • After 1 year of continuous employment, an employee is entitled to a vacation of 6 working days;
  •   After 2 years of employment, an employee is entitled to a vacation of 8 working days;
  •   After 3 years of employment, an employee is entitled to a vacation of 10 working days;
  •   After 4 years of employment, an employee is entitled to a vacation of 12 working days;
  •   When an employee is employed for a period of 5 to 9 years, he/she is entitled to a vacation of 14 working days;
  •   When an employee is employed for a period of 10 to 14 years, he/she is entitled to a vacation of 16 working days.

Article 76-79 of the Federal Labor Law.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for 2020 is 185.56 pesos per day on the Northern Border and 123.22 pesos per day on the rest of the country.    

Minimum wage requirements are governed by Mexican law even if an employment contract was signed outside of Mexico. Federal Labor Law, 1970, art. 132.

Christmas Bonus

Employers must pay employees at least 15 days’ salary before December 20 of each year, based on the number of days worked that year by the employee.


Special Bonus

Employees who work in areas that have high employment rates will be entitled to bonuses based on factors such as work habits (punctuality) and company productivity.

Meal Breaks

Mexican Federal Labor Law establishes that during a continuous working of 8 hours per day, the employee must be given a rest or meal period of at least 30 minutes.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

According to the Mexico Federal Labor Law, maternity leave will 12 weeks (6 weeks before the child is born and 6 weeks after birth). The employee can negotiate the leave period before the birth of the child in an agreement with the employer in order to partially enjoy them after the birth of the child. During maternity leave, women are entitled to the benefits that they would normally receive. In addition to the following rules apply: 1) Pregnant women may not work under the hazardous conditions; 2) Perform industrial tasks during the night, extraordinary hours or during sanitary contingencies; and 3) Their salary, benefits, and rights should not be affected. During the three months prior to childbirth, women shall not perform physical labor that requires excessive material effort. In the month following childbirth, they shall necessarily enjoy the benefit of rest and shall receive their full wages and retain their employment and the rights acquired under their labor contract. During the nursing period, they shall have two special rest periods each day, of a half-hour each, for nursing their infants. Statutory maternity leave may be extended as necessary as if work is not possible because of the pregnancy or the delivery of the child. When an employee return from maternity leave, the employee is entitled to her employment, provided that no more than 1 year has passed since the date of delivery. Maternity leave does not affect the longevity of service. During maternity leave, the Mexican Social Security Institute will pay the working mother 100 % of her daily salary as a social security contribution. If the maternity leave period is extended, she is entitled to 50% of the daily salary of social security contribution for a period of up to 60 days. Article 164-172 of the Federal Labor Law.

Adoption Leave

In the case of adoption, female employees are entitled to six weeks’ leave following receipt of the child. The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) finances maternity leave for workers.

Paternity Leave

A male employee is entitled to 5 working days as paternity leave. Article 164-172 of the Federal Labor Law.

Sick Leave

Employees unable to work because of a nonwork-related injury or illness and who have made payments into the social security system for the four weeks before the condition developed are eligible for paid sick leave through the Social Security Institute. The benefit, which is 60 percent of an employee’s regular wage, is paid from the fourth day of the illness for up to 52 weeks and maybe extended for another 52 weeks. Social Security Law, 1995, arts. 58, 91-92, 98.

Care Leave for Parents with Child with Cancer

On June 4, 2019, in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the Mexican Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) published a decree amending the Social Security Law, the Law of the Institute of  State Workers ‘ Security and Social Services, and the Federal Labor Law.

The Decree enters into force on June 5, 2019, and reviews each of these laws to allow parents to take time off the job to care for kids under the age of 16 diagnosed with cancer.

The care leave certificate awarded by the IMSS is applicable for up to 28 days to the insured dad or wife. IMSS may issue as many certificates as necessary within three years, but the employee’s leave cannot exceed a total of 364 days. Care leaves granted to the working parent shall cease in the following situations:

      • When the minor no longer requires hospitalization or medical rest during the critical periods of treatment;
      • Due to the death of the minor;
      • When the child turns 16 years old; or
      • When the parent who receives the leave is hired by a new employer.

Article 37 Bis was also added to the Law of the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers to effectuate this leave.

Federal Labor Law

Furthermore, a fresh Section IX has been introduced to Article 42 of the Federal Labor Law in order to recognize care leave as a cause of temporary suspension of the employment relationship and payment of salaries without accountability for the employee and employer.

Finally, the Federal Labor Law requires employers to grant workers care leaves as provided for in Article 140 Bis of the Law on Social Security. Federal law now specifically acknowledges the right of minors ‘ parents diagnosed with any sort of cancer to enjoy the appropriate care leave.

Last updated on: May 1st, 2020