In Mexico, jobs can be advertised specifically for men or women, with an age range identified, and marital status specified as well. Unless you've done business in Mexico before, you should never try to hire anyone without having talked to a lawyer. The rigidities in the law make firing very difficult.
Minimum Wage Structure
Minimum wage in Mexico is about $100 USD a month plus benefits, although few people in the formal economy make so little. The federal government, depending on economic zone and trade, sets minimum wage. If you want to reduce your turnover rate you will most likely have to pay employees at least three times the minimum wage.
As we've mentioned in other sections, you should take advantage of the language schools offered in Mexico in order to learn Spanish. If you don't, you'll need at least one bilingual person working with you.
According to Mexican laws, and common sense, you must translate your marketing literature, product manuals, labels, and warranty. This may sound obvious to you, but surprisingly many companies provide only a single sheet in English, which hampers your business potential and/or may result in the sequestering of your merchandise at customs or sales points. Products from NAFTA countries must have manufacturer's labels in Spanish.
- Attend Mexican business fairs.
- Look for well-established enterprises with a long tradition and solid financial position.
- Ask (see Business Practices in Mexico: The Social Arena).
As in Canada and the US a worker may be your employee or may be an independent worker providing you a service under contract (por honorarios). In the latter case, you are not responsible for any benefits. In the former, minimum legal benefits include (but are not limited to):
- Health insurance under the Seguro Social (IMSS)
- 15 days of wages at the end of the year (Aguinaldo)
- Housing development (INFONAVIT)
- Retirement funds (SAR)
- Holidays (5 days of paid holidays a year minimum)
- No more than an 8 hour working day with regular wages
- Profit sharing. Workers are entitled to a small percentage of your profits. (10% of the total)
Sometimes these regulations are ignored, especially when it comes to white-collar workers.
All banks are open from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Some banks have extended hours, including Saturdays, at some branches.
Supermarkets in Mexico City are open seven days a week, from 9:00am to 12:00am, although there are many that are open 24 hours a day.
In Mexico City, street front stores are usually open from 10:00am to 8:00pm. In other cities hours may be shorter.
Working Hours for Factory Workers
The standard work schedule is Monday to Friday, eight hours a day and a half-day on Saturdays.
Working hours and days
According to Mexican law, the work week cannot be more than 48 hours long. Some workers get paid weekly, others may get paid bi-weekly (quincena). Few workers get paid monthly. Workers are usually under a 5.5-day workweek. Legally, lunch hour must be paid for workers whose work shift includes lunch time (3:00-4:00pm).
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