The payment of a compensation equivalent to one general minimum wage, for up to 30 days provided for in the Federal Labor Law in case that a contingency is declared by the Federal Government, as is currently happening in the case of Covid-19 or coronavirus, does not imply the termination of the relationship between employers and workers, it is just a provisional suspension that disappears once the economic activity returns to normalcy.
This, in the opinion of Doctor of Law Ricardo Martínez Rojas, founding partner of the De la Vega y Martínez Rojas Law Firm; he stated that the Federal Labor Law, in Article 42 bis establishes that in the event of a health contingency, the employer can suspend work and pay the equivalent to one general minimum wage.
He added that under the current circumstances, the employer can implement this measure and pay, if necessary, for a month.
The law does not establish what will happen after that period of time.
To start with, through a decree established last week, older adults, people with disabilities and pregnant women were sent home with their full salary and benefits, he recalled.
“In my opinion, with this provision, the government violates the constitution, given that it is evident that neither the Minister or Health or anybody within the Executive Power can issue a regulation of this nature”, he said.
This goes against the law, he pointed out, although he believes that there is good conscience and workers, unions and employers reach agreements to send those who are able to, to work from home, others establish agreements on payment reductions and yet others by taking advanced vacation days.
It is important to note that in any case in which a worker’s salary or working hours are reduced, this requires his consent, he emphasized.
He noted that this could be considered as a cause for collective suspension due to force majeure, but the reality of things is that with the declarations made by the government we are already in the midst of a strong sanitary contingency.
Putting a stop to activities is an example of this, the Federal Government also taking into consideratrion that there are activities that must not be interrupted, such as those of hospitals, medical laboratories, the businesses in charge of providing food such as markets, shopping centers and others.