Mexico Publishes New Standard For Telework Safety And Health Conditions

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On June 8, 2023, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published the Official Mexican Standard NOM-037-STPS-2023 Telework-Safety and Health Conditions at Work ("NOM-037" or "Standard")...
Mexico Employment and HR
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On June 8, 2023, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published the Official Mexican Standard NOM-037-STPS-2023 Telework-Safety and Health Conditions at Work ("NOM-037" or "Standard") in the Official Gazette of the Federation. As the title indicates, this document establishes the obligations and requirements regarding health and safety conditions for those employees working under a teleworking scheme. In Mexico, an employee is considered to be teleworking when the work is carried out using information and communication technologies and is performed remotely for more than 40% of the work shift.

Among the most relevant new provisions are:

(1) Employers must establish a written Telework Policy that meets certain specific content requirements. Such a policy must, among other things:

  • Establish communication mechanisms to avoid the isolation of teleworkers;
  • Establish work schedules that include the right to rest and disconnect; and
  • Establish mechanisms for teleworkers to notify changes of address.

(2) Teleworkers must receive training on occupational risks, including ergonomic and psychosocial risks, as well as on health and safety conditions.

(3) The employer must have initial and periodic checklists on safety and health conditions for teleworking that must be used in order to verify that the workplaces of teleworkers comply with the appropriate health and safety conditions. The verification can be carried out in two different ways, at the employer's choice:

  • The Employer-Employee Committee for Health and Safety may carry out a physical visit at the employee's workplace, with prior authorization; or
  • The employer may provide the employee with the checklist in order for them to complete the list and note whether or not the appropriate health and safety conditions are met, in which case the employee may be asked to prove said conditions remotely (for example, through video or photographs).

(4) The employer must provide an ergonomic chair to the teleworker, as well as the necessary supplies for the performance of their duties, such as printers.

(5) The employer must establish mechanisms for dealing with cases of domestic violence, including allowing the employee to return to in-person work.

The new Standard also establishes certain obligations applicable to employees, which include complying with the Teleworking Policy, keeping their work tools in good condition, observing occupational health and safety provisions, complying with policies and mechanisms for the protection of data and information, as well as informing employers about changes of address, among others.

NOM-037 will enter into force 180 calendar days after the date of its publication.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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