Written employment agreements in Mexico are mandatory. Every employee must enter into an individual employment agreement with the employer and set out the terms and conditions of the employment. There is no ‘employment-at-will’ in Mexico. An employer must have justified cause (as defined by the FLL) in order to terminate the employment relationship, if not, employer must compensate the unjustly terminated employee accordingly (FLL stipulates the amount for severance payments). Notwithstanding the previous statement; in the given case that an employment relationship exists and there is no written agreement; the employee’s constitutional and statutory rights are not waived or affected by this omission.
In the case of Unions, there is an additional agreement that is negotiated and entered into by the Union and the employer in order to promote the creation or improvement of the labour conditions for the employees as a collective and in turn the employer obtains a loyal and solid workforce. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (hereinafter ‘CBA’) is renewable and cannot contain provisions that stipulate the waiver of the basic constitutional and statutory rights or benefits for the employees as a collective. It can always be more favourable than the constitutional and statutory requirements but never less than the latter.
Article 24 of the FLL provides that working conditions must be established in writing, and each party must be provided with a copy of the employment agreement. In addition, Article 25 states that the individual employment agreement must contain the following information:
- name, nationality, age, sex, civil status, CURP, tax id number, and domicile of the employee and the employer, if applicable;
- whether employment is for a specific job or term, initial training, permanent, and if it is subject to a probationary period;
- the service or services to be provided, as specifically as possible (job description);
- the place or places where the employee will work;
- the work schedule;
- amount of salary and any fringe benefits;
- date and place where salary is to be paid;
- an indication that the employee will be trained according to the plans and programmes established by the employer;
- amount of rest and vacation days, and any other conditions agreed to by the employee and the employer.
Every employment agreement contains an implied relationship of mutual trust and confidence. Furthermore, employment agreements cannot contain an employee’s acceptance to waive the necessary legal grounds for justified dismissal on the part of the employer and the minimum mandatory benefits provided by the FLL. On the other hand, CBAs must also be in writing and contain the following information:
- names and domiciles of the parties executing the CBA;
- the address of the facilities where the CBA will be applicable;
- duration or whether it is for an indefinite term or specific job;
- work schedules;
- rest days and holidays;
- salary amounts;
- employee training;
- initial training for new hires;
- integration and operation of the Employee/Employer Committees as established by law;
- other conditions agreed upon by the parties.
CBAs must be filed in the Local or Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board, depending on competence and jurisdiction. Competence and jurisdiction of the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards is determined by the employer’s main business activities in accordance with the applicable FLL provisions.