Christmas Bonus!

It’s the law here

If you’re an employer in Mexico, here’s something you should know about: aguinaldo. Think of it as a Christmas bonus for your employees.

Mexican work laws established it as a right to all employees back in 1970. All employees must receive their aguinaldo, which is 15 days of regular pay.

Sounds good, until you do the math. A Mexican worker who earns the minimum wage of $4.18 USD a day (which is the national average, it’s a tad bit  higher here in Cabo), would get $62.70 as a bonus. However, just like in the US, few people work for minimum wage. Average wage is about $700 a month. So, average aguinaldo is about $350, a welcome addition,

In some companies, however, money is not the only type of aguinaldo. Workers might also receive a food basket, which is seen (by some) as a more personal way to thank workers.

peso-present.pngSome foreigners who own businesses in Mexico might not think they actually have to pay the aguinaldo, but they should know that there is a fine for not providing their employees their full aguinaldo. Temporary workers and those who get paid on commission are also allowed a bonus. These are calculated a bit differently; the year’s earnings must be averaged and then multiplied by 15. Say you made $6,000 dollars this year, then your daily pay is $16 and your aguinaldo would be $250. These are often the type of people who work for minimum wage, people who in addition get tips or commission.

If a worker was relieved from his or her position or resigned before December 19th, he or she must also be given an aguinaldo, prorated for the amount of money they earned that year. The latest the aguinaldo can be paid is December 20th, ,(so if you’re reading this and still haven’t doled out the bonuses, you’re late.

If your boss is any later than that, a worker has two options: keep quiet and keep working without a Christmas bonus, or go to labor court, which is biased on the side of the employee, and is adjudicated rather quickly.

Federal work law gives employees just one year to pursue legal action for not receiving an aguinaldo. ,