The Mexican government passed amendments to the federal labor law on teleworking. The amendments clarify existing teleworking regulations and create new obligations for both employers and employees.
The reform was published in the Mexican Federal Official Gazette and entered into effect on 12 January 2021.
The reform applies to any worker who performs paid work activities at least 40% of the time outside the employer’s workplace, either at home or another location chosen by the employee.
Employers will now be mandated to:
- Provide, install and maintain the necessary working equipment and training needed by the employee to perform the work (computers, printers, ergonomic chairs, etc.)
- Pay for any appropriate telework-related costs such as a proportional part of the employee’s electricity bill and the telecommunication expenses (cell phone and internet)
In addition, employers are required to record teleworking arrangements in a written agreement which includes:
- The telework supplies and training provided by the employer to the employee
- The employee’s schedule and the supervision mechanisms that will be put in place
- An updated work from home policy that should be reflected in the employer’s internal handbook or a collective bargaining agreement, if any
- The employer’s health and safety standard measures as reflected in the forthcoming guidance from the Mexican labor ministry
Employers are also mandated to respect the employee’s right to disconnect after work hours. Any technology used to supervise remote employees should guarantee the protection of their personal data in accordance with the applicable privacy law. For example, video cameras and microphones should only be used to supervise teleworking in exceptional situations or when required for the performance of the employee’s work duties.
Employees will be required to take good care of the working equipment delivered by the employer and report telework-related costs to the employer in a timely manner.
Teleworking must be voluntary aside from exceptional situations. Both the employer and the employee can revert to on-site work.
Employers should identify employees working at least 40% of their time from home, draft teleworking agreements in accordance with the new reform and update the employees’ employment contracts for new employees who will be working from home in the future. In addition, employers should update their internal policies and CBA (if any) to reflect the changes. Employers should also review the Ministry of Labor guidance, to be published within the next 18 months, regarding health and safety intended to clarify the work from home reform.
Telework should be agreed upon between the employer and the employee and reflected in the employment contract unless exceptional circumstances such as the current pandemic. In such circumstances, employers are still mandated to implement the new requirements.