The current legislative period in Mexico has had several bills presented to congress which are in process of discussion to possibly become enforceable law.
From a labor and employment perspective, of the several bills presented to congress, there are two bills regarding work-from-home, and outsourcing that have a good chance of becoming law that could have a direct impact on the way business is conducted in México, as these bills are sponsored by the majority party on both houses of congress.
Worth mentioning, there is a bill regarding people who perform services such as transportation and delivery based on APPs, that clearly intends to address the ambiguity of such services and puts them square within labor regulation identifying such people as employees who should receive any and all employment benefits. Nevertheless, this bill is being presented in the senate by a senator belonging to a minority party, so it might not gather enough multi-partisan support to be carried through the legislative procedure into law.
The bill that has garnered more media attention is related to the motion to reform the Federal Labor Law providing for prohibition of outsourcing, it was presented to the House of Representatives (Cámara de Diputdos) last November 12th by president Andrés Manuel López Obrador himself, as he has the constitutional right to send bills to congress. This bill outlaws the business model of outsourcing personnel to third parties, while allowing for the contracting of special services carried out by a third party on company premises, such as cleaning, security, or other specialty services. Effectively this bill intends to forbid companies from using a third party contractor to hire employees to carry out whatever the core business of the operation might be, and compel companies to act as employers of all the personnel working on their premises towards the core business or corporate purpose of such company.
This bill comes as a response to widespread abuse of the outsourcing business model to fraudulently gain fiscal advantages or avoid tax obligations, as well as avoid labor obligations or reduce employment benefits. However, as there are several international companies that have a stake in the compliant outsourcing business model such as Manpower, Adecco, Kelly, Randstad, and many more companies as clients for these type of services, there has been important corporate lobby to attenuate the effects and content of the bill while it is still going through congress.
The bill not only had the potential of dramatically altering the way companies control headcount of employees in México, it also contains important administrative and fiscal sanctions for any person or company who fails to comply or who keeps using a third party to hire personnel.
It is being publicized by stakeholders that there will be some sort of compromise in the final text of the law, however, the President, who also belongs to the majority party, has insisted that he intends to see this bill pass into law within this calendar year.
WORK FROM HOME
In a different bill presented in the House of Representatives the majority party is seeking a reform to the Federal Labor Law to update it matters of work from home conditions. As a matter of fact, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all companies to have temporary shutdowns, restructuring and majorly shifting the way people work from office to home. This phenomenon caused most people to experience what had been a rare exception in México, working from home, essentially, having the same professional or labor obligations to deliver or perform work but doing it away from the office, and for the most part at one´s own home. As has been the case for many people, specially parents, this shift has not meant more comfort but rather an increase of emotional and professional stress, while trying to cope with the obligation to follow through with the kids performance on virtual classes, sharing spaces with kids for school, or with a spouse for their own work obligations, not having adequate working spaces, not getting a benefit of a clear schedule as all work is now web dependent and enabled around the clock, so-to-speak.
All these concerns spiked a legislative interest to intervene in order to seek regulation of the work relationship that determines work from home conditions. The bill contains a special mention that regulation might not be enforceable if work from home results as a need of force majeure circumstance, such as a world pandemic. Nevertheless, the bill does provide that if an employer seeks to hire someone for a position to be carried out away from the office, the employment contract needs to be clear on such circumstance, as well as pointing out the right of the employee to "log off" afters scheduled hours, the additional pay provided to make up for the employee´s use of his own utilities such as electricity, water, wifi, etc; the procurement of office equipment such as computers, printers and ergonomic chairs. All this is within the scope of the intended legislation and will be going through legislative process.
Even as the legislative term officially ends on December 15th, an extraordinary legislative term can be convened, in which case, legislators could only work on bills scheduled within the convocation to the extraordinary term.
At Bufete Díaz Mirón, we will be happy to update you and will be available at your convenience should you need specific assistance understanding these bills or any labor and employment matter within Mexico.
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.