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  • Writer's pictureKarbonPay

Payroll Compliance in Mexico

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

There are two primary pillars of Mexican law that govern employment law for employers:

  1. Federal Labor Law

  2. Social Security Law

These laws contain the rules employers must follow with regard to labor courts, unions and relations, as well as wage mandates for both specific and general work laid out by region.

Here are some of policies to take note of:


The UMA (which stands for “Unidad de Medida y Actualización”) serves as the basis to calculate the payments, obligations or penalties that are owed to the government, whether under federal or state law. Its updated value is published on an annual basis. UMA is a set value for one day.


The Article 66 of the Federal Labor Act establishes that overtime should not exceed three hours a day or three times a week. On the other hand, paragraphs 67 and 68 of the Law indicates, in terms of pay, overtime not exceeding that limit will be covered with 100% (i.e. double) more than the wage corresponding to the regular hours of the day, while hours exceeding nine per week must be paid with 200% more of the respective salary (i.e. triple).

Vacation Premiums

Workers who have more than one year of service shall enjoy an annual period of paid leave, which in no case be less than six working days, and which will increase by two working days, up to twelve, for each subsequent year of service. After the fourth year, the holiday period will increase by two days for every five years of service.

Workers shall be entitled to a premium of no less than 25% on their wages during the holiday period.

Vacation Days and Bonus rate can always be offered at higher levels as long as the minimum level is met. E.g. 1 Year of Service - 10 Days

Vacation can’t be paid out instead of being used except in the event of a terminated employee with an accrued leave balance.

Savings Funds

A conceptual definition of savings fund is not currently established in the Mexican labour legislation; however, the Income Tax Act (LISR) Art. 29 fraction VII and Article 31 fraction XII provides that the Savings Fund is a social welfare expense for the company therefore becomes a deductible expense for the company, provided that it meets certain requirements stipulated in the LISR Art. 22 and 23 Regulations).

  • Maximum Savings fund rate 13%

  • Limited to 1.3x UMA value

  • Risk-free investment

  • Granted to all employees

Not being able to satisfy the above requirements will make the benefit taxable for employees.

Social Welfare Benefits

Social welfare benefits granted to employees will be exempt of income tax for employees if the sum of the salary plus benefits does not exceed the equivalent of 7x UMA. If the salary itself already exceeds that amount, the benefits will be exempted up to the equivalent of 1x UMA.

Social Security Contributions

All workers employed in Mexico must be registered with and contribute to the following institutions that deal with different social security insurance benefits:

  • Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS): Provides medical services, child day care, accident and sickness compensation, pregnancy benefits and disability pensions

  • National Workers’ Housing Fund Institute (INFONAVIT): Provides subsidized housing to employees as well as loans, and the

  • Retirement Savings Program (SAR). SAR provides employees with retirement benefits when they reach 65 years of age.

Employees in Mexico are covered by the Social Security Law, under IMSS who is responsible for administering social security insurance benefits and the collection of contributions.

KarbonPay is here to help

All these different regulations can be confusing and scary to navigate, especially when you need to run compliant payroll. Not only does KarbonPay's technology automate all of these calculations to keep you compliant, but we also offer payroll as a service if you'd like to speak with our payroll experts to learn more about outsourcing the full payroll function.


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