April 5, 2024

Parental leave in Mexico: all you need to know

Parental leave in Mexico: all you need to know

Want to onboard an employee in Brazil or Mexico today?

If a business has employees based in Mexico, it should know what they are legally entitly when they become parents. Also, as a HR professional, you know that a benefit like parental leave is essential for bringing in new employees. Parental leave policies vary among most Latin American countries so let’s discover how does the Mexican parental leave policy works !

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The basic of parental leave

Parental leave is usually a mandatory benefit which allow new parents to take paid time off. It typically includes maternity leave, paternity leave, breastfeeding leave and adoption leave.

Parental leave is important for several reasons, the main ones being giving time to the mother or first carrier to recover from childbirth and contributes to health and wellbeing by giving time to parents to bond with their children. Promoting parental leave also increase employee retention rates, promote gender equality and helps increase employees’ productivity.

Not only do biological parents qualify for parental leave, but this benefit is also extended to cover adoptive and foster parents. Adoptive and qualified foster parents can take time off work to help their child settle into their new home.

In Latin America, parental leave policies are quite different from a country to another. Check it out ⬇️

Parental leaVe policies in America Latina

Summary of analysis of leave and breastfeeding support policies in LATIN AMERICA

What is paternity leave and pay ?

Who is eligible for paternity leave?

According to the Federal Labor Law in Mexico, paternity leave ensures a paid leave to the father if the employee meets the following requirements:

    • Be the legal father of the newly born or adopted child.
    • Be a worker affiliated to IMSS (Mexican Social Security)
    • Have paid IMSS (Mexican Social Security) contributions for at least 30 days.

From Decembre 2022, the Mexican constitution granted the right to parental leave for same-sex partners. In the case of adoption, the partners will have to chose who will benefit from the maternity or paternity leave.

How long is paternity leave in Mexico?

Ordinary paternity leave is 5 days. However, if the birth is complicated or the mother or first carrier of the child passes away during birth, the father is entitled to additional leave.

A frequent question, when it comes to paternity leave, is whether working days or calendar days are considered. In Mexico, only working days are counted.

** UPDATE ** Recently, the Mexican parliament introduced an amendment bill to increase paternity leave from 5 working days to 20 working days. In case of complications, the paternity leave will be increase by 10 more days. If the bill is approved by the Mexican Senate, this increase will be effective early 2024.

How to request paternity leave in Mexico?

All persons requiring paternity leave must notify and submit a written request to the HR department as soon as possible. They will request the following information:

🍼 Date of birth of the baby.
🍼 Period in which you will occupy the leave.
🍼Birth certificate, medical birth certificate or adoption certificate.

These data must be provided within 5 working days after the birth or adoption.

Paternity Pay

During the paternity leave, the individual is entitled to receive 100% of the salary. One of the frequent doubts about paternity leave in Mexico is who must pay this benefit.

In Mexico, the employer must assume the salary payment. Likewise, it is the employer’s responsability to approve and manage this leave. 

Maternity leave

Who is eligible for maternity leave?

Maternity leave is a period of paid leave granted by Mexican law. It entitles eligible mothers and other primary carers with funds to compensate for the drop in income when they take time off to care for their child. In short, it is a benefit paid to employed women who have just had a child, either through childbirth or adoption.

To qualify for maternity leave, the mother or first carrier must:

    • Have at least 30 weekly contributions in the 12 months prior to the payment of the subsidy.
    • Have the expected date of delivery certified by an IMSS doctor.
    • Not perform any job in which you receive a salary during the leave period.

If the employee has not paid the minimum number of contributions, the employer will be responsible for the payment of the full salary.

How long is maternity leave in Mexico?

The Article 170 of the Federal Labor Law grants pregnant employee the right to a minimum of 12-week (84 calendar days) maternity leave. The employee may opt to change the distribution of her paid maternity leave, moving up to four weeks of her prenatal leave to postnatal leave. However, she cannot reduce her leave to less than the 84-day statutory period.

The maternity leave may be extended for an additional 2 weeks if the baby is born with a desability or requires hospitalization.


About Maternity Pay

Maternity leave of 12 weeks (84 days) is fully paid. It is paid through Social Security, which is financed by workers, employers and State contributions.

Details and payment are determined by the IMSS (Mexican Social Security) on a cas-by-case basis. That’s why, in some cases, the IMSS will pay 60% or 70% of maternity pay while the employer contributes the remaining amount.

In the case of an extension of leave due to pregnancy and childbirth problems, workers are entitled to 50% of their salary for a period not exceeding 60 days.

Rights during maternity leave

While you’re on maternity leave, you’ll still be entitled to all the employee rights you normally get from work – for example:

  • paid holiday
  • protection from unfair dismissal
  • pension payments and rights during your period of Statutory Maternity Pay payment
  • any other employee benefits – for example, gym membership and medical insurance – for your whole maternity leave period.

Breastfeeding Break

According the articles 63 and 170 of the Mexican Federal Labor Laws, the new mother is entitled to 2 additional 30 minutes rest periods per day to feed the child in an adequate and hygienic place set aside by the employer. If this is not possible, the parties may agree to reduce her work shift by an hour.

Adoption leave

For female employees

Employees adopting a child are entitled to paid adoption leave. If a female employee adopts a child, she is eligible for six weeks of paid maternity leave after receiving her child. Likewise, if the child has any type of disability, adoption leave can be extended.

During this extended period, compensation can be negotiated and agreed upon by both the employer and employee.

For male employee

Paternity leave benefits also apply to adoptive male employees in Mexico. Male workers are authorized to take five days off work after the birth or adoption of their child. During this period, male workers are entitled to receive 100% of their salary.

For same-sex partners

Thanks to the reform of Article 146 of the Mexican Civil code, same-sex partners are also entitled to parental leave.

Under current law, among male same-sex couples who adopt their children, both  will have the right to choose which of the two will enjoy maternity or paternity leave.

In the case of female couples, the rule is the same. But only one of them can take the leave. In short: only one of the parties can be entitled to the long leave. However, specific cases can be discussed in court.

Care leave in Mexico

On June 4, 2019, the Mexican government implemented care leaves so that parents can accompany their children during treatment, hospitalization or recovery and have a legal support to be temporarily absent from work.

The care leave may be granted only at the request of the interested party, to either the father or mother with parental custody of the child. In no case will this leave be granted to both working parents.

Care leave is granted to the working parent if the following requirements are met:

  • If the employee’s child is diagnosed with deadly diseases like cancer.
  • If the child is 16 years old or younger.


In this case, the duration of paternity or maternity leave is extended by two weeks for each child, starting with the second child. This will apply both in cases of birth of a child and in cases of multiple foster care or adoption.

Manage parental leave with Europortage

Managing parental leave is complex especially when it comes to compliance. That’s why we recommend working with a direct and local partner like Europortage.
Our team of local experts is on hand to support you throughout the entire employee lifecycle, including time-off management. We can give you clear advice on business incorporation and global hiring, in addition to handling employment contracts, payroll, and benefits. That way, you can focus on growing a world-class team and business.
Get in touch to find out more and start hiring top talent in Brazil and Mexico!

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