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Paternity Leave Rules in Mexico: Everything You Need To Know

May 12, 2023

Paternity leave is gaining ground all over the world. 63% of countries now offer paid paternity leave and nearly half of employers surveyed by CIPD support going above and beyond the statutory minimum.

Why are employers embracing this pivotal shift? The answer lies in the social and economic benefits paternity leave has, which are consistently supported by research. By allowing fathers to take time off work to care for their newborns and partners, employers empower them to actively foster stronger family units while increasing employee engagement and retention.

In this guide, we go over everything you need to know as an employer about the dynamic landscape of paternity leave in Mexico.

Paternity Leave Laws in Mexico

Employees in Mexico are entitled to five working days of paid paternity leave per child, according to Federal Labor Law. However, if the birth is complicated or the mother of the child passes away during birth, the father is entitled to additional leave.

Eligibility requirements for paternity leave in Mexico vary depending on the employer, but in most cases, employees are required to:

  • Be the father of the newly born or adopted child. Same-sex parents are also eligible for paternity¬†
  • Have been with the company for at least one year and have a certain number of hours worked per week.

Paternity leave is taken after the child is born or when placement of the child occurs, in case of adoption. The expectation is that the employee will use their time off to take care of and bond with their new child, as well as support their partner. 

To request paternity leave in Mexico, employees must submit a written request to their employer. This request should include the dates of the leave and the reason for the leave.

Pay During Paternity Leave in Mexico

Eligible employees are entitled to 100% of their earnings during paternity leave, all paid by the employer. Employees may also get additional benefits, such as paid time off or health insurance. 

As an employer, going above and beyond the statutory benefits demonstrates your commitment to creating create a more supportive and inclusive work environment that supports employees' work-life balance and wellbeing. Employees will feel more loyal and satisfied as a result, which can lead to several benefits, including

  • Higher morale and productivity: Employees who have enough time and support to bond with their new child are more likely to return to work energized and focused. This can contribute to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  • Improved retention: Offering generous paternity leave benefits sets your organization apart as an employer that values work-life integration and prioritizes family-friendly policies, helping to enhance employee retention rates.
  • Increased gender equality and diversity: Providing good paternity leave benefits sends a strong message about gender equality and the equal importance of caregiving responsibilities for both parents. It promotes a more inclusive work culture and encourages greater gender diversity within the organization.
  • Positive employer branding: Going above and beyond statutory leave requirements can contribute to a positive employer brand. It showcases your organization as progressive, compassionate, and supportive, which can enhance its reputation both internally and externally.

In addition, paternity leave provides additional benefits to employees. 

Benefits for Employees

  • Paternity leave allows fathers to be more involved in their children's and partners' lives, which is essential for developing stronger relationships.
  • Some time off can help ease the transition to parenthood by relieving stress on the mother and allowing her to recover from childbirth. Similarly, paternity leave can help families adjust to their new family member.

The Legal Side of Extending Paternity Leave to Mexican Employees

Paternity leave in Mexico is governed by law to ensure that employees have the right to time off following the birth or adoption of a child. As such, companies that fail to offer this benefit to their employees may face several penalties, including:

Fines

The Mexican government may impose fines on companies that do not comply with the country’s statutory paternity leave policies. The specific fines will vary depending on factors such as the number of employees in a company and the length of time the company has been in violation of the law.

Moreover, fines for continued non-compliance can range from monetary penalties to more severe financial consequences. The goal of fining non-compliant businesses is to enforce compliance with paternity leave laws and encourage employers to fulfill their obligations.

Back Pay

Back pay refers to the compensation or wages that an employee is entitled to receive for a period of time in which they were not able to take leave due to certain circumstances, such as being denied paternity leave.

Back pay is typically calculated based on the employee's regular rate of pay and the number of days or hours they were wrongfully denied leave. It aims to reimburse the employee for the wages they would have earned had they been able to take the leave as legally mandated.

In cases where an employee successfully claims back pay for denied paternity leave, the employer may be required to compensate the employee for their full regular salary, as well as any applicable benefits or bonuses they would have received.

Damages

Employees who are denied paternity leave may also be able to sue their employer for damages. The amount of damages that an employee can recover will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, but they can include financial compensation for lost wages during the denied leave period, emotional distress, legal fees, and other related expenses.

Loss of Employees

Companies that do not offer paternity leave may find it difficult to attract and retain good employees. For example, employees who are denied paternity leave are more likely to be dissatisfied at work and they will probably leave their jobs for companies with more generous leave policies.

Reduce the Risk of Non-Compliance With Remofirst 

Employee benefits, including paternity leave, are governed differently in each country. Instead of trying to keep up, it's a better idea to delegate all of the work to experts who are well-versed in complying with employee benefits in every jurisdiction where you have employees. 

With an EOR like Remofirst, you can ensure that your global team receives all the statutory benefits they are entitled to and more, without fear of breaking the law. This country guide contains more information on how Remofirst can assist you in hiring, managing, and caring for employees in Mexico.