Voluntary verification seeks to avoid labor inspections

Note published on November 1 in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.
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The Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) published, in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the creation of the Voluntary Verification Program, which will enable employers to subscribe digitally and avoid ordinary inspections, as long as requirements are met.

Nevertheless, the authority will not renounce its power to monitor compliance by employers of the labor obligations established in labor rules and regulations and the application of the corresponding sanctions in case of non-compliance.

The program is part of the Alternate Inspection Mechanisms, which are the schemes that the STPS has placed at the disposal of employers for informing or accrediting compliance with labor rules and regulations, including the use of private organizations for their evaluation, coordination and collaboration actions through agreements, notices of operation, questionnaires, evaluations or analogous requirements, enabling employers or their representatives and the members of the commissions that must exist in work centers to provide the required information.

Depending on the agency, the program has as its objective a greater coverage and rationalization of the resources and services provided by labor inspection and also that “employers have alternative schemes that enable them to comply with the obligations arising from labor rules and regulations in a simple, transparent, friendly and cost-free manner as well as fostering compliance for the benefit of the work center itself and of the workers.”

The aspects that employers will be able to report in a voluntary manner are: the level of compliance with general working conditions, training and instruction, health and safety, among other aspects, prevailing in their work centers.

It should be noted that the Department of Labor and Social Welfare will be in charge of the management and operation of the program, through the Unit for Dignity in Labor, the directorate general of Social Welfare and the directorate general of Federal Labor Inspection, each one of them within their jurisdiction.

According to labor lawyers, this is not the first time that a voluntary verification program is used: “other programs have existed before, like Cumplilab or PASST, but none have been fully consolidated and it is important that a level of compliance is maintained, particularly in light of the changes that have been experienced on labor matters in the country”, said Óscar de la Vega, founding partner of De la Vega & Martínez Rojas.

They are alternative systems to labor inspection, but they only covered aspects in work safety and health matters and, without a doubt, they required greater dissemination and updating. He recalled that Declaralab was linked with some modules of the Self-management in Work Health and Safety Program (PASST), which made their use complex.

Companies expect self-monitoring programs to be simple, to be agile systems that allow compliance with the regulatory framework and that inspections do not become a difficulty in face of so many changes that are being experienced in labor matters.