December not only has a component of satisfaction with the Christmas holidays, to a large extent the aguinaldo that is paid in this season is an expected benefit. According to the Federal Labor Law (LFT), employers have up to December 20th to comply with the payment of this bonus, which cannot be less than 15 days’ salary.
Mexico is one of the few countries that recognizes the Christmas bonus as a benefit and, therefore, it is a right that every worker whose employment relationship is governed by the LFT has. The bonus is an endorsement that employers give their workers for the December holidays, a season that involves higher expenses, explained Ernesto Bravo, researcher at the Economic Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
“The bonus cannot be affected or replaced by any kind of gift or incentive, companies cannot substitute the Christmas bonus for any other form of retribution ”, explains the specialist to the UNAM Gazette.
The bonus is a benefit with more than 50 years of validity in the country and, unlike profit sharing, there are no exceptional cases for not covering the payment. However, despite the fact that it is one of the best known labor rights, there are at least 15 frequently asked questions around the provision.
According to the Federal Labor Prosecutor’s Office (Profedet), these are the most recurrent questions of the working population regarding the payment of the Christmas bonus and the responses of the labor authorities:
»1. Who has the right to receive it?
Grassroots, trust, plant, unionized workers, those hired for work, specific time, season, for an indefinite time subject to testing or subject to initial training, eventuals, commission agents, commercial agents, insurance agents, salespeople and others.
In general, said labor benefit applies to all workers who render their services in a subordinate manner to an employer, whose employment relationship is governed by the Federal Labor Law.
»2. With what salary is it calculated?
In the case of workers with a fixed salary, the calculation must be made with the daily quota salary, without including any other income, with respect to the salary they receive at the time of payment of the Christmas bonus.
If the amount of the salary is variable per unit of work (piecework), the average daily income obtained in the last 30 days actually worked must be taken as a basis, for whatever concept the worker receives.
For workers hired as vendors, trade agents insurance, propagandists and others like that who are hired under the protection of the LFT, the daily salary for the payment of the bonus is calculated taking into account the average of the income received in the last year of work or the proportional time of work in the event that have not completed the year.
»3. Are there penalties for employers?
Yes, the legal framework establishes that it is an obligation of the employer to pay the bonus in a timely manner. If it is not complied with, penalties of between 50 and 5,000 times the Unit of Measurement and Update (UMA) are contemplated for this type of infraction, this is equivalent to fines of between 4,481 and 448,100 pesos.
»4. I am a working mother and I had a maternity leave, can I deduct part of the bonus for days of disability?
No, the pre and postnatal periods (before and after birth) must count as days worked for the calculation of the bonus.
»5. I had an accident, should I be paid the full benefit?
Yes, whether they are insured or not, they are considered active workers during the period of temporary disability and therefore they have the right to receive their full bonus, either from the company or from the social security institutions.
»6. If I voluntarily resign, am I entitled to payment?
Workers who quit their job before December 20, have the right to be covered for the proportional part of the bonus for the time they worked.
In this sense, the proportional bonus must be paid at the time of termination of the employment relationship as part of its liquidation or settlement.
»7. When a worker dies, who is entitled to the corresponding bonus?
If a worker dies, their spouse, children under 25 and ascendants, having the presumption of economic dependence, have the right to receive the payment of the Christmas bonus.
»8. Do I have to pay taxes for the Christmas bonus?
Yes, as long as the amount received is greater than 2,606.40 pesos, this is 30 times the Unit of Measurement and Update (UMA).
»9. And to all this, what is the UMA?
The UMA refers to the unit of measurement or economic reference in pesos, to calculate the payment of obligations and assumptions provided for in federal and state laws. This unit of measurement arose in 2016 to apply them in certain payments with the objective of not affecting the minimum wage. In 2021 it is equivalent to 89.62 pesos d
»10. Can I waive the Christmas bonus?
No, the bonus is an inalienable right of workers regardless of other benefits.
»11. On what date must it be paid?
There is no set date, but by law the bonus must be paid before December 20.
»12. Help! What to do if I do not receive the payment before December 20?
People have one year to demand the payment of the Christmas bonus. This benefit is claimed before the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards, in the states where the previous labor model still operates, and before the federal and local labor courts or the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration (CFCRL) or the Local Conciliation Centers in the entities where the new labor justice system already exists.
»13. What happens if I worked less than a year in a company?
The workers who on the date of payment of the bonus have not completed one year of service provision, or whose employment relationship ends before the deadline for payment of the bonus, are responsible for receiving the proportional part of the bonus, in accordance with the time they have worked in the calendar year, whatever that time may be.
»14. How do I calculate my Christmas bonus?
At least it is the equivalent of 15 days of daily base salary or what is ordinarily received per working day; that is, your daily salary is multiplied by 15 and the result is the amount you should receive.
»15. If I was fired, what happens to the benefit?
It must also be covered with the settlement, which includes the proportional part of the bonus.
In your FAQ guide, the Profedet He reiterated that workers can use their free services of guidance, counseling, mediation and legal representation in order to carry out the ordinary and extraordinary actions necessary before the labor authorities to claim the payment of the Christmas bonus.
This dependency of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) is one of the instances to claim the bonus when the employer did not cover the benefit and workers can contact the telephone (800) 911-7877, at extensions 44740 and 44741 for guidance. In addition, the institution enabled the line (55) 1484-8737 to receive questions through WhatsApp messages.
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