The Executive Order through which various provisions of the General Regulation on Labor Inspection and the Application of Penalties (the “Regulation”) are amended, added to and derogated with the objective of strengthening labor inspection processes was published on August 23, 2022 in the Official Gazette of the Federation.
The following are the most relevant amendments made by means of the Executive Order:
- The reduction of terms. With the exception of inspections on Safety and Health matters, employers will only have a period of 5 working days to make comments and offer evidence that disprove the irregularities or occurrences set forth in the inspection report.
In the case of inspections on Safety and Health matters, in addition to the term of 5 days for preparing and submitting evidence relating to the occurrences set forth in the inspection report, Labor Inspectors may grant an additional term, not to exceed 30 days, to remedy the violations that were identified during the inspection process. This last term may be extended as an exception and upon prior request by the employer in the presence of irrefutable justification that the violations are due to causes beyond the control of the work center being inspected.
- The scope of initial inspections. The discharge and scope of initial inspections must be subject to the “Operational Guidelines of Labor Inspections”; these guidelines are not specified in the Executive Order.
- The verification of compliance with the Official Mexican Standards (“NOMs”). In the case of Verification inspections, labor authorities must limit the inspection order exclusively to the NOMs that apply to the work center based on its characteristics and the records of previously conducted inspections.
- Specialized inspections on subcontracting matters. Labor Inspectors will have the power to conduct inspections seeking to corroborate compliance with obligations in labor subcontracting matters.
- Technical Advisory and Assistance Inspections . Labor authorities will conduct Technical Advisory and Assistance Inspections at work centers that meet all of the following criteria: (a) have up to 30 hired employees; (b) do not have any other branches or work centers; (c) have a Class I or II classification in Occupational Hazard Insurance; (d) do not conduct activities of transformation or manufacture of raw materials; and (e) do not use hazardous substances.
- Corroboration of compliance with administrative measures (after the application of penalties). With the objective of safeguarding the physical integrity and/or health of the workers, labor authorities will pay visits in order to corroborate compliance with the decreed safety measures within a term not to exceed 60 days from the date of notification of the ruling on the corresponding penalty or fine.
- Corroborate compliance with labor obligations, including those on subcontracting matters and the payment of employee profit sharing to the workers.
- Implement a “defensive file” with the documents and necessary information to accredit compliance with labor obligations.
- Train the corresponding personnel for handling and discharging labor inspections in the possible work centers.
Lastly, it is important to note that the date of entry into force of the Executive Order is August 24, 2022. Therefore, compliance with the new provisions of the Regulation is mandatory for all work centers located within the national territory as of August 24, 2022. For their part, all administrative processes of inspection and the application of penalties in progress prior to August 23, 2022 will be conducted and resolved in compliance with the provisions in force at the time in which they began.