Mandatory Holidays

October 11, 2013
Mandatory Holidays

In addition to the weekly rest day, Mexico's Federal Labor Law establishes other days off, which are commonly referred to as mandatory days of rest or holidays. These days are declared as non-workdays based on patriotic, civic, political or religious events or occasions, in order to allow employees to attend public and religious festivities or ceremonies that are important to the community. Mexico's Federal Labor Law contemplates the following mandatory holidays: (i) January 1st, so that employees do not have to work on the day following New Year's Eve festivities; (ii) the first Monday of February, in commemoration of February 5th, which corresponds with the anniversary of the Mexican Constitution; (iii) the third Monday of March, in commemoration of March 21st, which celebrates the birth of Benito Juárez, who was president of Mexico; (iv) May 1st, which is given to employees in commemoration of labor day; (v) September 16th, in commemoration of Mexico's independence; (vi) the third Monday of November, in commemoration of November 20, in celebration of the Mexican Revolution; (vii) December 25th, for Christmas; (viii) December 1st, every six years, when it corresponds to the transfer of the federal executive power (when the new President-elect of Mexico is inaugurated); (ix) those determined by federal and local electoral laws in the event that ordinary or extraordinary elections are called in order to conduct an election. Importantly, in addition to the days indicated hereinabove, employers and their employees may agree on additional holidays or days off, whether in their individual labor contracts, in collective bargaining agreements, in internal work regulations or by means of company policy. If, due to the nature of the work of the company, continuous labor is required, employees shall agree with their employer as to which employees will render services on mandatory holidays. In the event they are unable to reach an agreement with respect to such, the conflict must be presented to the labor authorities in order for the same to determine which employees shall work on such days. Based on the foregoing, those employees who are required to work on a mandatory holiday shall have the right to receive payment, independent of their corresponding salary for the mandatory holiday, in an amount of double salary for the services rendered, which ultimately results in a triple salary (one for the regular work day and two for working on a holiday). However, it is important to note that when a weekly day of rest coincides with a mandatory holiday, the law does not require payment of double salary if the employee does not work on that day, given that the Mexican Federal Labor Law does not contemplate this situation and, therefore, employees are entitled to receive only their normal salary that corresponds to the particular day of the week. However, in the event a collective bargaining agreement provides for triple payment of salary when the weekly day of rest coincides with a mandatory holiday, the company shall be obligated to make such payment. Therefore it is advisable for employers not agree to such concessions, being that the law does not contemplate such and that they may become an unnecessary and excessive expense for the employer.

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