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El Aguinaldo: Mexico’s Christmas Bonus Explained

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – The end of the year is approaching and, in addition to Christmas celebrations, delicious food and family time, there is something that Mexicans look forward to help them celebrate these traditional occasions: receiving the aguinaldo (Christmas bonus).

Although the aguinaldo has been a right in Mexico since 1970, this custom has been a part of the lives of workers in this country for many years. Interestingly, the tradition dates back as far as the Celtic people, who exchanged dried fruits and nuts at the end of the year as a gesture of generosity and good will.

Similarly, and in accordance with the Federal Labor Law, Mexican employers are obliged to provide a minimum benefit equivalent to 15 days’ salary to its workers before December 20. This applies to all employees, whether they work on a permanent basis, or for just a few hours here and there. Otherwise, the employer may be subject to a fine of up to $365,000 pesos – roughly $18,250 USD.

And it’s important to understand that employers are not just people who run businesses. They are anyone who pays a person for a service – like the housekeeper who comes to clean your place twice a week or twice a month; the gardener who cuts your grass; or the pool guy who takes care of your pool.

In order to calculate the payment of the aguinaldo, you divide the equivalent of the worker’s net monthly salary by 30 days and then multiply it by 15. In case the worker has not yet completed one year of service, the calculation of the proportional aguinaldo would be calculated by dividing the amount of the regular aguinaldo payment by 365 and then multiplying it by the number of days worked up to the payment date.

The payment of the Christmas bonus is extremely important for Mexican families. For instance, for a full time housekeeper earning 2,000 pesos a week, whose bonus would be 4,000 pesos, every peso counts. And, for many Mexican families, receiving the aguinaldo has a big impact on how they are able to celebrate Christmas together; as well as on their ability to set aside a small “reserve fund” for unexpected expenses in the new year.

So, if you have a housekeeper, a gardener, a pool guy, or anyone else who you are paying for services, please remember to pay the aguinaldo. It’s our way to thank the people who have welcomed us into their country and, simply put, to do the right thing.

Warren Brander is a Puerto Vallarta real estate expert that is knowledgeable, caring, and makes the entire transaction fun and stress-free. He can be reached at 322-200-2253, or by email at sales(at)wbrealtygrouppv.com. You can also check out his website for a great selection of Puerto Vallarta condominiums and homes for sale at WarrenBrander.com.

To learn more about Warren Brander Realty Group, click HERE.

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MXN - Mexican Peso