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Christmas Bonus, More than a Decision, an Obligation

By Jesús Aguado

The Christmas bonus (aguinaldo) must be given to the employees before December 20, according to the Federal Labor Law in its article 87. If employers do not give the aguinaldo, they could pay a fine up to 5,000 days of minimum salary.

The payment of the aguinaldo for employees is considered in the article 87 of the Federal Labor Law (LFT), which states that employees have the right to receive that benefit before December 20. The minimum payment must be of 15 days of salary as minimum, and the employer could raise that number but cannot pay for fewer days. An employee who has not worked the whole year must then receive a proportional part.

Article 87 does not apply for governmental servants, who are paid according to article 40Bis of the Law of Work for Public Servants; they receive 40 days of salary and they must receive 50 percent of the bonus before December 15 and the rest before January 15, but that would be a decision of the municipalities, states, or federation.

The National Committee for Protection of the Salary notes that if an employer does not pay the Christmas bonus, that omission could result in a fine that could go from 50 to 5,000 days of minimum wage, according to Articles 992 and 1003 of the LFT.

Attorney and accountant Rossana Patlán previously told Atención that the aguinaldo is not cumulative. If an employee did not claim the Christmas bonus for the last five, three, or two years, he cannot claim it this year and loses it. If a worker does not receive the bonus, he can file a complaint at the Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje in Celaya.

The National Committee for the Protection of the Salary provides a formula to calculate the aguinaldo. As an example, let’s suppose that Enrique Juárez has been working at a company the last 250 days of this year with a daily salary of 128 pesos.


The number of worked days                                                                      250

Must be divided in the days of the year                                                     365

Which gives a total of                                                                                0.6849

That number must be multiplied for the days to pay, by law                    15

That is a total of                                                                                         10.2740

Multiplied by the daily salary                                                                    128 pesos

The aguinaldo to give would be                                                                 1,357.07 pesos


All employers, independent of their nationality, must follow the Mexican laws. If you have a doubt on how to calculate the aguinaldo of your employees, get assistance from an accountant or a lawyer.


This is the address of the Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje

Ave Manuel J. Cloutier #769

Col Alamos, Celaya Gto

Tel 014 6161 2361-5



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