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.
NOTE: Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic.
On March 20, 2020, Mexico Ministry of Labor issued an Action Guide for Workplaces against COVID-19 (the “Guide”), which, among other things, recommended the following steps for employers:
- Establishment of general control strategies in the workplaces:
- Healthy distance: modify habits such as distancing among individuals and reduction in frequency of face-to-face encounters with employees, including the adaptation of work areas and spaces.
- Entrance filters: establish a general supervision protocol to filter employees and clients at the entrance, to identify people with respiratory illnesses with the purposes of sending them home to voluntary isolation to reduce risk of transmission.
- Quarantine: Send employees home when they show respiratory illnesses and to the doctor if they have any symptoms related to COVID-19.
- Likewise, implementation of a workplace attention and action plan against COVID-19 that involves:
- Keeping all employees in the workplace informed about the directions of the public health authority.
- Identifying individuals in the workplace with higher risk due to their condition.1
- Identifying tasks or duties that may be made flexible or performed from home.
- Identifying essential activities that must be kept within the workplace.
- Posting on multiple visible places around the workplace the official infographics, and distributing them through available means.
- Informing the employees about the public health authority’s emergency phone number (800-0044-800).
- Ongoing cleansing of the workplace.
- Providing sanitary items and personal protective equipment to the employees.
- Spreading schedules out in order to reduce contact.
- Separating shared work stations to a distance of 1.50 to 2.0 meters (5 to 7 feet).
- Establishing a general supervision filter before entering the workplace.
- Sending home those employees with COVID-19 symptoms and referring them to their medical attention center.
- Under the Guide, some temporary policies may be adopted in the workplaces:
- Temporary suspension of non-essential activities, as established by the National Period of Healthy Distance.2
- Make work flexible by allowing for reorganization of shifts and staggering of work schedules, as well as the use of technology to minimize direct contact, including remote work.
- Promote and provide confidence for the employees who leave work if they have any symptoms of the disease, through simplification of disability processes and avoiding reductions in salary due to absence.
It is important to mention that these strategies, action plans and temporary policies, as the rest of the Guide, are recommended. Employers in Mexico are not required to follow these measures at this point.
1Individuals: i) who have illnesses that are immunodeficient, chronic, cardiac, pulmonary, renal, hepatic, blood-related or metabolic; ii) who are obese or overweight; iii) older than 60 years; iv) who are pregnant; and v) younger than five years.
2 Non-essential activities include those that do not affect substantive activities of a public, social or private organization, or the users’ rights.