News, Insights and Best Practices for Manufacturing in Mexico

Mexican Labor Law Primer: The Work Week and Payroll Factors in Mexico

04 Oct 2011

Category: Manufacturing in Mexico

According to Mexican labor law, the legal length of the Mexican work week depends upon the shift on which an employee renders service.  The number of hours attached to each shift is spread over a six day work week that runs from Monday until Saturday.

The Mexican work day is divided into three shifts:

  • Day Shift
  • Night Shift
  • Mixed Shift

The day shift for a Mexican worker is eight hours in length. These hours can fit flexibly within the period of 6:00AM to 8:00PM.  The number of hours per spend on the job by Mexican day shift laborer is 48 hours.

The night shift in Mexico occurs during a seven hour period worked between 8:00PM and 6:00AM.  The number of hours constituting the night shift amount to forty-two.

The mixed shift in Mexico is for a period of 7.5 hours, and can consist of hours that are considered part of the day shift and part of the night shift.  The night shift component of a mixed shift is limited to 3.5 hours, however.

As per Mexican labor law, workers are entitled to a thirty minute meal break during each shift.  In addition to his, many companies in Mexico provide additional break time in order to help workers to focus and to remain fresh.

There is no monetary pay differential paid in Mexican workers on the basis of shift.  This fact accounts the differences in the number of hours worked in the day, night and mixed shift schedules.

Overtime is paid after the Mexican workers reach the legal number of hours stipulated for the shift on which he or she renders service.  After this prescribed number, workers in Mexico are paid double pay for the first additional 9 hours.  After this additional number of hours the worker is paid at triple the rate of his or her normal salary.

As Mexico does not have a national unemployment insurance program, as is the case in the United States, Canada and many other nations, the de facto unemployment insurer in Mexico is the company for whom a worker labors.

Under Mexican labor law, should an employee be terminated without cause after the first three months of his or her employment, the company must indemnified the laid off worker with a payment equal to three month’s salary.  In addition to this remuneration, workers that have been with a company for a period of longer than three months receive indemnification must be paid twenty days’ salary for each year of seniority that they had with their former employer.

This, of course, is only a brief overview of Mexico’s labor law in this important area.  Information on Mexican labor, and other law, may be obtained in translation at



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