Mexico: New Provisions Give Domestic Workers Access to Social Security and Healthcare Benefits

On March 29, 2019, Mexico’s government launched the Pilot Program to Register Domestic Workers to the Mandatory Social Security Regime, allowing domestic workers to have access to social security and healthcare benefits.  On July 2, 2019, the government published a decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation, amending the Federal Labor Law and the Social Security Law to assist in the implementation of the pilot program.  The pilot program will be active for 18 months. Once the term is over, the Legislature will have six months to amend once again the corresponding laws in accordance with the results of the pilot program.  While it is not yet mandatory for domestic workers to register with the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), after the term of the pilot program, we expect additional guidance for the implementation of this program.

The July 2 amendments to the law establish the rights and obligations relative to domestic workers, including:

  • Teenagers under the age of 15 years are not allowed to work as domestic workers.  The decree clearly voids any provision that may stipulate otherwise. 
  • The term “domestic worker” is defined as a person who carries out activities of maintenance, cleaning, assistance or any other paid activity related to a household within the context of an employment relationship, without generating a direct economic benefit for the employer, whether the worker resides at the address where he or she carries out the activities.
  • The parties are required to enter into a written employment agreement, setting forth the conditions under which the services will be provided.  It is also noted that the employer cannot require evidence of non-pregnancy from the worker.
  • Domestic workers residing at the place where they provide their services have the right to enjoy a minimum rest of nine consecutive hours at nighttime and a minimum daily rest of three hours between the morning and evening activities, without exceeding a daily job schedule of eight hours.
  • The employer must guarantee food for the domestic worker and, when the worker resides where he or she renders the services, the employer must also provide room. The food provided must be clean, healthy, and of the same quality and quantity as that consumed by the employer.
  • The National Commission of Minimum Wage (CONASAMI) will be responsible for establishing the minimum wage for domestic workers.
  • Domestic workers will also be entitled to enjoy one uninterrupted day and a half off from work, preferably on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as enjoy the mandatory federal holidays.
  • In addition to the grounds for which a dismissal would be deem unjustified under the law, terminations based on gender violence or discrimination will also be unjustified.
  • Before terminating the employment relationship, the employer must provide notice of eight days and pay the corresponding severance.
  • Until the term of the Pilot Program is over and the Legislature amends laws accordingly, the employer must guarantee medical care and funeral expenses for the domestic worker.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.