Note published in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.
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Héctor de la Cruz, labor specialist at D&M Abogados, said that companies must analyze whether they are included in the list of essential activities that, unlike the case of the April confinement, now allows the entire production chain to work and, therefore, it is important to be clear on what their responsibilities are.
In addition to establishing agreements with the workers – on the payment of salaries and benefits – employers that fall within the activities marked as essential in Mexico City must keep in mind that they must strictly comply with measures such as the application of rapid-response Covid-19 tests that must be administered every two weeks when they have more than 100 workers, assuming all of the costs.
This was explained by Héctor de la Cruz, labor specialist at D&M Abogados, after pointing out that companies must analyze whether they are included in the list of essential activities that, unlike the case of the April confinement, now allows the entire production chain to work and, therefore, it is important to be clear on what their responsibilities are.
In principle, it is the “mandatory use of face masks, the placement of sanitary filters for the detection of symptoms and temperature measurement for the entry of personnel, suppliers and clients, keeping a safe distance of 1.5 meters between people, constantly disinfecting surfaces and objects, equipping for and defining the direction of the flow of people for entering and exiting, placing 70% alcohol antibacterial gel dispensers and favoring natural ventilation.”
He recalled that commercial establishments whose activity is considered to be essential and have an on-site staff on 100 people or more in each work center must carry out, at their expense and on a bi-weekly basis, rapid antigen tests which will have to be conducted at clinical laboratories or facilities authorized to perform Covid-19 tests in Mexico City, for a minimum of 10% of the total of the staff, either individually or in groups.
Additionally, they must implement the “QR System for the identification of Closed Spaces”; and the direct measurement of employees’ temperature. In the event of temperatures above 37.5° C, the employee, as well as those whom he had close contact with, must be quarantined for 15 days of home confinement, and the authorities of Mexico City must be notified immediately through Locatel [Telephone Localization Public Service] or through the available digital tools (SMS, website), in order for the authority to monitor the situation and dictate the necessary health measures to be taken by the establishment to contain and control contagions.
For its part, the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CROC) started a WhatsApp campaign on safe distance with all of its members, emphasizing that “all workers in Mexico are going to pull together against Covid-19. Safe distance, no parties and stay at home.”
Isaías González Cuevas, leader of the CROC, maintained that information campaigns have been launched throughout the country since the beginning of the pandemic, “we have trained workers, we have brigades in place and, at all times, we are updated to provide information on the epidemiological traffic light, while we demand compliance with health protocols from employers”, he stated.