Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

The Mexican constitution provides for a minimum wage set for different geographical areas/zones and for different occupations/branches of economic activity. Consequently, there is no single minimum wage in Mexico and minimum wages for occupations are announced every year for different geographical areas/zones.

Minimum wages in Mexico is determined per day. National Commission on Minimum Wages, a tripartite institution represented by workers, employers and government, determines minimum wage rates every year.

National Commission may be assisted by advisory committees in order to determine minimum wages for different sectors/occupations and zones. The general minimum wages must be sufficient to satisfy the normal material, social, and cultural needs of the head of a family and to provide for the compulsory education of his/her children. The occupational minimum wage is set by also taking into consideration the conditions of different economic activities. Minimum wages are fixed for each year and may be revised at any time, if required by the economic circumstances. 

As per Title eleven, chapter X to XIII, of the Federal Labour Law, it is the duty of the Labour Inspector to monitor the compliance with labour standards. According to the Federal Labour Act it is the prerogative of the Ministry of Labour and Federal and local Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration, who have to protect the labor law enforcement. Article 1004 of the Labour Law states provision for fines and imprisonment in case of violation of wage rates, depending upon the amount of omission.

In order to help set and revise the minimum wage, the National Commission on Minimum Wages conducts various studies to determine the general economic situation of the country, changes in various economic activities, changes in the cost of living, labour market conditions and wage structures.

Compliance with Federal Labour Law including minimum wage provisions is ensured by the labour inspectorate which has the following functions: monitor compliance with labour standards; provide technical information and guidance to workers and employers on the most effective way to comply with labour standards; bring to the notice of authorities any deficiencies and violations of labour standards as observed by them and carry out the studies and gather data as requested by the competent authorities and seek the harmony of relations between workers and employers. Workers can file a complaint with a labour inspector or to Board of Conciliation and Arbitration although under 2017 Constitutional reform, these Boards will be replaced by labour courts or labour tribunals.

Labour Law has provisions on fine and imprisonment for violation of wage standards, depending on the amount or omission.

An employer who pays workers less than the general minimum wage has to pay a fine and face imprisonment term as explained here:

  1. Fine is equal to 50 times the general minimum wage when the difference between the minimum wage and the amount actually paid does not exceed the total of one month’s minimum wage. The proposed imprisonment term ranges between six months to three years;
  2. Fine is up to 100 times the general minimum wage when the difference between the minimum wage and the amount actually paid is between one month and three months’ minimum wage. The proposed imprisonment term ranges between six months to three years;
  3. Fine is up to 200 times the general minimum wage when the difference between the minimum wage and the amount actually paid is equal to more than three months’ minimum wage. The proposed imprisonment term ranges between six months to four years.

Fines are doubled in the case of repeat offence.

Sources: §123-A-VI of The Mexican Constitution, § 90-97, 540, 560-562, 570 and 1004 of Federal Labour Law; Resolución del H. Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos​ publicada en el Diario Oficial de la Federación el 18 de diciembre de 2015

The current minimum wage rates can be found in Minimum Wage Section.      

Regular Pay

Wage is the remuneration to be paid by the employer to the employee for the work performed.

In accordance with the Mexican Constitution, wage period can't be longer than 7 days. However, Federal Labour Law clarifies that 7 days wage payment period is for manual laborers and farm workers. The deadline for wage payment, i.e., the wage payment period can't be longer than 7 days for manual workers and 15 days for other types of workers.  The law requires that wages may be fixed per unit of time, per unit of work, commission, lump sum or otherwise. The minimum wages are determined on daily basis. The wages must be paid in legal tender and in cash unless agreed by the employee. Payment of wages must be made at a place where workers usually are employed and payment must be made on a working day and during working hours. The wages provided in an employment contract can't be less than the minimum wage for occupations/region.

Minimum wage is exempted from the attachment, compensation or deductions.

Sources: §123-A-VIII &XXVII of The Mexican Constitution, §82-116 of Federal Labour Law

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos 1917, última modificación en 2010 / Political Constitution of Mexico 1917, last amended in 2010
  • Ley Federal de Trabajo 1970, modificada en 2012 / Federal Labour Law 1970, amended in 2012

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