Mexico Essentials, Working

El Aguinaldo: The Christmas Bonus in Mexico

Workers in Mexico look forward to their annual Christmas bonus payment, known as 'el Aguinaldo,' that is paid before December 20th each year

Payday Envelope $500 pesos

When the festive-season holiday approaches, workers in Mexico look forward to their annual Christmas bonus, known as el Aguinaldo.

Christmas bonus in addition to regular pay

Mexican labor law stipulates that all employed people must receive an Aguinaldo equivalent to at least 15 days of the employee’s regular wages, and it must be paid before December 20.

This is in addition to any regular pay or other benefits that the employer offers.  In practice, many of the big companies in Mexico pay 30 days —effectively paying employees 13 months of salary per year— and some employers split this into two payments: one-half paid at Christmas and the other half in the summer.

Paying the people who help you through the year

If you live in Mexico and hire any domestic staff it’s important to pay them an Aguinaldo in December.  This may include housekeepers, caretakers, care-givers, gardeners, pool maintenance people, etc.  Some people pay domestic staff two weeks equivalent pay, although four weeks’ equivalent pay is more appropriate.

If your home helpers work part-time, then the Aguinaldo bonus is paid pro-rata. So, for example, if your housekeeper works two days a week, then whatever you pay for those two days is multiplied by at least two (and more appropriately, four) to calculate the Aguinaldo.

Tipping other service providers at Christmas

If you forgot to tip your post man or woman in November, Christmas is a good time to make amends and, for those who buy regularly online and have the items delivered, you might consider tipping your local couriers as well, if you don’t tip them throughout the year.

Other people to consider tipping at Christmas include the folks who collect your household waste and recycling, the home gas delivery people, and the water bottle delivery people.

If you are traveling this Christmas season and staying at a hotel, don’t forget to leave tips for your chamber maid and the waiting staff, even if you’re staying at an ‘all inclusive’ resort.

Learn more about Christmas in Mexico

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