This week, November 5–11, 2023, Mexico's Congress has continued to make progress on several legislative items that would amend the Federal Labor Law (FLL), including bills to amend or increase: (i) the list of diseases that could be determined as occupational; (ii) seniority premium calculations; (iii) the amount of leave for working mothers; (iv) employers' obligations regarding codes of ethics; and (v) payments for union fees.
The bill adding items to the lists of occupational diseases and permanent disabilities is of particular importance to employers, since it would affect the premium risk that impact quota payment of IMSS.
- Mexico's federal legislature is working on bills addressing occupational diseases and permanent disabilities, seniority premium calculations, rights for working mothers, employers' obligations regarding codes of ethics, and payments of union fees.
- Legislation amending the lists of occupational diseases and permanent disabilities is of particular importance to employers.
Possible Amendments to the FLL or Employment-Related Dispositions
Increased number of occupational diseases and permanent disabilities. The Senate approved a bill that added items to the list of occupational diseases and the list of permanent disabilities. Among the new occupational diseases and permanent disabilities, the following are to be considered: endometriosis, infertility, mental disorders (including stress, anxiety, and depression), COVID-19, infectious or parasitic diseases, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and muscular injuries.
This bill has received approval through the legislative process, and it is awaiting publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación).
Considering the above, employers may want to verify that they are in compliance with the Psychosocial Risk Prevention Standard (NOM-35).
Union fees payments. The Senate approved a bill to do away with the “opt-out” clause and instead mandate the deduction of union dues from employee compensation. The bill was sent to the Chamber of Deputies to be discussed in its next session.
Nursing periods. The Senate approved a bill that would extend the nursing period from six months to up to two years. The Senate sent the bill to the Chamber of Deputies to be discussed in its next session.
Creation of a new article to the FLL regarding due diligence. If approved, the bill would require employers to have in place—at least—a code of ethics, mechanisms to eradicate forced labor and protect employee rights, programs to prevent damage to the environment, protocols for addressing noncompliance with the law and the internal work regulations, and actions to promote a healthy workplace environment.
Seniority premium calculations. This initiative proposes to reduce the number of years of service for an employee to be entitled to a seniority premium—in the case of an employee's resignation—and to eliminate the cap for its calculation. At the moment, any employee who resigns after fifteen years of service has the right to request the premium, and its amount is capped at twice as much as the applicable minimum wage. There is no date for this bill to be discussed by the Chamber of Deputies.
Workweek reduction. The bill to reduce weekly working hours from a maximum of forty-eight to forty hours is being discussed through an open parliament process.
Prohibition on criminal background checks. The Senate referred to the Chamber of Deputies a bill that would include in the FLL a prohibition on criminal background checks, which are already considered unlawful under other federal laws and dispositions.
Christmas bonus increase. The bill to increase statutory Christmas bonuses from the equivalent of fifteen days of wages to thirty days of wages is under a second revision by the Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.
Employees of advanced age quota. The Senate has approved a bill that would require employers with twenty employees or more to ensure that at least 5 percent of their workforces are made up of employees sixty years of age or older. The bill has been referred to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion.
Minimum wage for 2024. The National Minimum Wage Commission proposed an increase of 12.5 percent to the minimum wage for 2024. The results of this proposal will be published at the end of November 2023.
María José Bladinieres is a law clerk in the Mexico City office of Ogletree Deakins.
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