On 12 January 2021, Mexico introduced a reform to the Federal Labour Law that regulates home office working. The reform is a a result of COVID-19 and the realisation that home working will be here for the foreseeable future.

The new regulations recognise remote working as recurrent paid for activities performed in places other than the establishment of the employer, using information and communication technologies. Remote working or “home office” working as it’s often referred to in Mexico, is also only recognised when 40% of the employee’ work is carried out outside of the employer’s establishment, work carried out occasionally or sporadically under this format is not considered as remote working.

This new section of Article 311 of the Law titled “Home Office Work” (“Teletrabajo” in Spanish) includes new obligations for both employee and employer. These obligations are not only in respect to labour issues, but also in respect to information and telecommunication technology ones.

Employer Obligations

  • Provide the employee with necessary equipment, such as computers, ergonomic chairs and printers
  • Provide payment for the corresponding employee’s electricity and telecommunication service costs
  • Implement mechanisms to preserve the employer’s information and data security
  • Respect the employee's working hours under a so called “right to disconnection”
  • Organise and implement the training necessary to guarantee the adaptation, learning and correct use of information and communication technologies

Employee Obligations

  • To care for and store the equipment, materials and tools provided by the employer
  • Inform the employer of the costs incurred in the use of the telecommunications and electricity services in a timely manner
  • Comply with the work safety and health provisions established by the employer
  • Comply with the data protection policies and mechanisms

The use of technology, such as video cameras and microphones to monitor the Home Office must guarantee the employees’ right to privacy and disconnection.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (STPS) has a period of 18 months to publish the Mexican Official Standard (NOM) that establishes specific characteristics and obligations in terms of health and safety, for example, concerning ergonomic chairs and other equipment under this modality.

Despite the lack of regulation and clarity on some points of these new provisions, it is important that employers have migrated temporarily or definitively to this type of work, to implement certain actions and measures to avoid future contingencies. Therefore, the following is recommended:

  • Analyse the activities developed and job descriptions, remote work is not for all industries, nor all positions
  • Document the mutual consent to modify the workplace on a temporary or permanent basis, through an agreement which contains the conditions, duration, rights and obligations, tools that are required, working days and hours, ways to maintain communication with the employer, among other things, under which the employee will carry out his activities
  • Establish an internal remote work policy, as part of the Internal Labour Regulations of the company, specifying this work mode

For more information and guidance on coronavirus support measures for businesses, employers and employees, visit the activpayroll latest news page.

For more information on tax and social security laws in Mexico, browse activpayroll’s Mexico Global Insight Guide.

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