The federal government will give a report on subcontracting tomorrow

Note published in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.
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The negative impact of the improper use of this modality in the labor arena amounts to $21,000 million pesos, states President López Obrador.

The authorities from the Office of the Attorney General for Fiscal Matters, of the Tax Administration Service (SAT), of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS), will present a report on subcontracting next Friday, placing emphasis on its negative effects on workers and toward public finances, which surpasses 21,000 pesos in damages to the treasury.

This was announced by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the morning conference, where he pointed out that the proposal is still being defined, because “what we don’t want is for it to be a reform that they can circumvent again.”

He also said that “it is assumed that, in strict adherence to the Federal Labor Law, whoever hires the worker has to comply with certain obligations, the payment of a fair salary, registration with Social Security, which is sometimes not done by these intermediary companies or the statement that workers earn less than they do is made, so as not to pay the Social Security contributions.”

The President also said that an attempt has already been made to regulate the subcontracting model, “but there are those who are not helping.” This is one of those decisions in which some people pay for the sins of others.”

Although he acknowledged that there are responsible businessmen, he pointed out that there are others that are not even businessmen, they are opportunists, influence peddlers that abuse these mechanisms for hiring workers and that workers are negatively affected,”

In this sense, the federal chief executive recalled that, at the beginning of the pandemic, there were complaints about the dismissal of workers of whom no rights were acknowledged thanks to this type of hiring.

This, he said, allows workers to be fired at the end of the year in order to avoid the payment of benefits; these workers are then rehired in January, without the right to seniority.

“There was abuse. These are the so-called structural reforms, which were not made having the benefit of the workers in mind, they were not made thinking of benefiting the people; they were made seeking to benefit a group, a minority”, he pointed out.

Additionally, López Obrador stated, outsourcing has allowed tax evasion of more than 21 billion pesos and this is why a company hired by itself cannot be allowed to evade taxes, because in many instances entrepreneurs do not even know how these companies operate.

In this regard, Pablo Franco, president of the Union of Jurists of Mexico, said that “it is undeniable that there has been an abuse of this modality and that it has caused great losses to the public treasury, as it has been used as a means for tax circumvention and evasion. The prohibition of outsourcing should be made as a first step for an authentic regulation of necessary outsourcing; and it should be permitted in instances in which it is indispensable and justified, within a framework of respect to the rights of others, that is, the workers, and without tax avoidance and evasion conducts.”

Data from the last economic census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), show that there are 4.6 million workers in the country hired under the modality of subcontracting; this represents 13% of the share in the total of employed persons in the country, with a growth of 31% between 2014 and 2019, when the data was presented.

Oscar de la Vega, labor specialist in the D&M Abogados Firm, said that, while the modality of subcontracting cannot be canceled, particularly in instances in which whole industries depend on it, such as the automotive industry, the federal government must focus on bad practices “which are in no way defensible”.