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New annual leave in Mexico, applications and implications

One of the greatest news in Latin America this year came from Mexico. The country with the lower annual leave in the continent will change its legislation to give more free days for workers. How will be? What are the possible consequences? In this blog from GCE Xperts, we tell you everything about it.

Mexico is one of the most important economies in Latin America with a significant population. Its geographical location gives even more transcendence because it is the neighbor of the most important economy in the world: The United States. What happens in Mexico cares in the north and in the south.

These days, there was discussed about annual leave. Mexico only had six days per year worked and it was the country with fewer free days in the continent. In the world, only China and New Guinea had fewer than five days per year. That’s why there was agreement and the great majority of the two cameras of the parliament voted to enlarge the leave.


Now, from 2023, Mexican workers are entitled to 12 days of annual leave. This means they will duplicate their free paid days. Obviously, there are ways to applicate the new law and its consequences in the labor field.

Applications for the decent annual leave

These changes will begin to be applicable on the first day of 2023 and it is for everyone in the private sector. After one year of working, the employees can ask for twelve days in the immediate 6 months. As always, those who don’t enjoy vacations will lose them. They aren’t cumulative. Another important clarification is if the worker had the leave of 2022 this doesn’t change.

Another key application for these changes is how the seniority modifies the free days. Before the law, the workers earned two days more each new year. When the employee had twelve earned two days after four years with the limit of 24 days. Now, the worker can get two more days per year until 20 days. After that, two more days every four new years with a limit of 32 days.

Year 1: 12 days
Year 2: 14 days
Year 3: 16 days
Year 4: 18 days
Year 5: 20 days
From 6 to 10 years: 22 days
From 11 to 15 years: 24 days
From 16 to 20 years: 26 days
From 21 to 25 years: 28 days
From 26 to 30 years: 30 days
From 31 to 35 years old: 32 days

Implications for the “decent annual leave”

Now, think about the possible consequences. The employees will have more days themselves. This gives them wellness and mental health. This could cause more worktime satisfaction and, consequently, more commitment and productivity. The recommendation of the International Labor Organization is for a vacation period of at least 18 days.

“According to figures from the OECD and Coparmex, an average worker in Mexico works 2,255 hours a year, 46% more than in Belgium and 33% more than in Brazil. However, this excess labor is not reflected in worker productivity and, on the contrary, countries that have reduced working hours have shown an increase in productivity”, wrote in Forbes.

For employers, more for small and medium-sized companies increases the costs. They have to pay more free days and that’s why they had a more progressive propose first with nine days per year and then with twelve.


All these changes are for 2023 and the companies and workers have to be prepared. It is a step to be more similar to developing countries. It is a good time to be attentive to the concepts of informality, productivity, investing, and the growing, and wellness of the employees.

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