Legal Unit of Measure, by Maria Fernanda Magallanes


Several legal and constitutional amendments were published on January 27, 2016 in order to replace the minimum wage reference with the Legal Unit of Measure (Unidad de Medida y Actualización or UMA, for is Spanish acronym), as the unit of account, index, base, measure or reference to determine the amounts for payment of obligations, contributions, fines, fees and other concepts provided for in federal, state and local laws. In order to determine the amount to be paid, the amount of the obligation or assumption, expressed in said units, must be multiplied by the value of said unit on the corresponding date. The use of the UMA does not apply to labor matters, which will continue to be governed by the determination of fines as per the applicable minimum wage. The creation of the UMA seeks to avoid an increase in fees in relation to the minimum wage, so that the minimum wage may increase and be more competitive. The UMA will be updated every year, in the first ten days of January, and its increase will be calculated and published by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI, for its Spanish acronym).

On January 10, 2017, the value of the UMA was published in the Official Journal of the Federation, which is effective from February 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018, as follows: a) $75.49 Mexican Pesos per day; b) $2,294.90 Mexican Pesos per month; and c) $27,538.80 Mexican Pesos per year