What is the 13th Month Salary?

Uncover the origins, pros, and cons of this additional payment given to employees. Explore which countries incorporate it into their labor laws. Don't miss out on this insightful blog post! Read now to learn more.
Learn what is the 13th month salary
Written by
Ontop Team


Welcome to our blog post on the intriguing concept of the 13th-month salary! Have you ever heard of this additional payment that some employees receive? If not, get ready to dive into the details of this unique practice. In this blog post, we will explore what the 13th month salary is, its origin, when it is mandatory, and the pros and cons associated with it. We will also take a look at the countries that have incorporated this concept into their labor laws. So, let's unravel the mystery behind the 13th month salary!

What is the 13th Month Salary?

The 13th-month salary, also known as the Christmas bonus or 13th-month pay, is an additional payment that is given to employees on top of their regular monthly salary. It is a common practice in many countries and is typically paid out at the end of the year, usually in December. This extra income serves as a reward for employees' hard work throughout the year and can be a significant financial boost during the holiday season.

What is the Origin of the 13th Month Salary?

The origin of the 13th-month salary can be traced back to Brazil in the early 1960s. The country's president at the time, João Goulart, introduced this concept as a means to stimulate the economy and increase workers' purchasing power. Since then, the idea of the 13th-month salary has spread to various countries around the world, each with its own unique reasons for adopting this practice. Today, it is a common feature in many labor laws across different continents.

When is the 13th Month Salary Mandatory?

While the 13th-month salary is not mandatory in all countries, there are some nations that have made it a legal requirement. For example, in the Philippines and Brazil, the 13th-month salary is mandated by law and must be paid to all employees, regardless of their employment status.

In other countries, such as the US, offering a Christmas or end-of-the-year bonus is a common practice between companies, but it is not mandatory.

Pros and Cons of the 13th Month Salary

• Pros of the 13th Month Salary:

• Improves an employee's financial situation, especially during the holiday season.

• Boosts employee morale and loyalty, resulting in increased productivity.

• Cons of the 13th Month Salary:

• Can be a financial burden for small businesses.

• Raises questions about fairness and equality among employees who may not receive the same bonus based on factors like length of service or performance.

What Countries Have the 13th Month Salary in Their Labour Laws?

The 13th-month salary is not a universal practice, but it is prevalent in many countries. Apart from Brazil and the Philippines, other countries that have incorporated this concept into their labor laws include Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, and Nigeria, among others. Each country may have its own regulations and guidelines regarding the calculation and payment of the 13th-month salary.


In conclusion, the 13th-month salary is an additional payment that is given to employees on top of their regular salary. It originated in Brazil and has since become a common practice in many countries around the world. While it is not mandatory everywhere, it can provide various benefits for employees and employers alike. So, the next time you hear about the 13th-month salary or 13th-month pay, you'll have a better understanding of what it entails and its significance in different parts of the globe.

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