A crucial year for the labor sector is beginning

Note published in Reforma, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Note published in El Norte, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Note published in Mural, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
Read the note in its original source

The year that is beginning will bring crucial changes in labor matters

The second phase of the labor reform will be applied, discussions on subcontracting will resume and regulations on teleworking must be implemented.

All of this, together with the regulations on health matters and occupational hazards that work centers must comply with

Discussions on outsourcing will resume in February, when the ordinary period of sessions begins.

While the Government seeks to prohibit all forms of outsourcing, the IP [Private Sector] says that this would affect the competitiveness of companies.

“We will continue our participation in the next roundtables convened by the Government. Our call is simple: yes to regulation, no to prohibition; the correct use of this mode must be supported, as it is a legal activity”, said the employers’ sector.

The reform on teleworking approved by Congress, in regard to which the employers’ sector has some concerns, is also pending to be published in the Official Gazette.

“The reform is so broad, that inspectors from the STPS [Department of Labor and Social Welfare] will have the power to go to the homes of the workers and verify the fulfillment of their duties, which will open the possibility of acts of corruption (in the sense of not going or validating that they are at home) or even a serious violation of employees’ privacy”, pointed out Coparmex [Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic].

Diego García Saucedo, a member of the Mexican Academy of Labor Procedural Law, stated that the bill causes uncertainty among employers because they have no knowledge on how the payment for telecommunication services and electricity that employers will have to assume will be calculated.

“This needs to be regulated by a standard to be issued and it also says that under a force majeure cause, such as the pandemic, the modality of teleworking does not apply.

“We lawyers will have to start working on agreements so that once the return to the work centers is allowed, the areas that will continue to work in home office and which ones will not are to be defined”, he explained.

An analysis conducted by the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Law Firm warns that the special conditions in work safety and health will be established by the STPS in a NOM [Official Mexican Standard] that must take into consideration ergonomic, psychosocial factors, as well as other risks that could cause adverse effects on the life, physical integrity or health of teleworkers. The Standard must be published within 18 months after the entry into force of this reform.

“It is important that companies start including the applicable clauses in individual employment contracts, in collective bargaining agreements and/or internal work regulations as well as preparing policies in regard to teleworking”, it points out.

For 2021, the Department of Labor has planned to start the second phase of the reform in Baja California, Baja California Sur, Colima, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Guerrero, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Quintana Roo. The rest of the entities, Mexico City among them, will start their transition in 2022.

In parallel, unions must continue with the legitimization of their collective bargaining agreements.

To date, 343 collective bargaining agreements have been legitimized, although it is estimated that there are half a million of them at a national level.