The Christmas Bonus in Mexico “El Aguinaldo”

The Christmas Bonus in Mexico “El Aguinaldo”

By Ángel Marín Díaz


The Christmas bonus is a benefit to which workers are entitled to receive annually, a benefit which is provided as a support from the employer to the worker for holiday expenses we all experience in December. 


There are different versions of the origin of the word aguinaldo, but the two most common are from eguinad, the term with which the Celts called the end of the year gift; but the word is also considered to be derived from the Latin expression noc in anno, which means “in this year.” 


Although there are also many ancient cultures where gifts were given, this is due to the belief that the best omens to start the year are attracted with generous gifts.


In Mexico the bonus or el aguinaldo was born in 1970 with the passage of the Federal Labor Law. In article 87 it mentions that “Workers will have the right to an annual bonus that must be paid before December 20 equivalent to fifteen days of salary, at least.” 


Workers who have not worked the full year are entitled to receive an amount that is proportional to what they worked. Even if they only work half days the formula credits each day worked as a full day of labor.


The formula to calculate the correct amount for the bonus is: divide the bonus days to which the employee is entitled (15) by the days of the year (365). 


The result is multiplied by the number of days the employee worked in the calendar year. The result is then multiplied by the worker’s daily salary and the amount obtained is the Christmas bonus. 


Example: José, a gardener, worked 200 days in 2020, and has a daily salary of 300 pesos. 

José’s employer, Mr. Santiago, wants to calculate his bonus, so he performs the following calculation: 

15 bonus days divided by 365 calendar days = 0.04109 units.

0.04109 units multiplied by 200 days = 8.218 units

8.218 units multiplied by 300 pesos = 2465.40


Therefore, Mr. Santiago will give José the amount of 2465.40 pesos as a bonus. Many people have asked if this is to increase by the number of years an employee has worked and the answer is that in a labor relationship without a contract stipulation for additional bonus days based on number of years in service, 15 days complies with the law.


However, while you are not allowed to give less it is fine if you choose to give more!


Happy Holidays to all, and best regards, Ángel.


For all your Estate Planning, Legacy Bequeathments, and Notarial Services contact the author Ángel Marín Díaz at 415 121 9005.