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Mexico – new government presents employment reform proposals

Written by
Basham, Ringe y Correa S.C., drawing on more than a century of experience helping clients to conduct business in Mexico.
The new Mexican administration has set out details of its proposed employment reforms, including access to training, promoting collective bargaining and an increased minimum wage.

President-elect, Andrés Manuel López-Obrador has prepared what is being called the ‘2018-2024 Nation Project’ setting out a work plan and a series of proposals related to social, educational and economic matters, for the purpose of creating public policies to promote the development of the country.

The Project, which was developed in cooperation with a group of specialists in different sectors, includes a series of proposals for 2018-2024 on employment matters aimed at improving employment conditions in Mexico. They cover the following main points.

Job professionalisation and training

The Project calls for the implementation of programmes to train and increase the professional capabilities of individuals, regardless of whether or not they are employed, so that they can have access to, or improve their chances of accessing, the labour market. This would involve imposing an obligation on companies to offer professionalisation and training courses for their employees.

Certification for job qualifications and skills

The Project calls for the strengthening of a free of charge certification programme for individual skills, abilities and qualifications for individuals who do not have degrees or equivalent credits awarded by educational institutions.

Increased monitoring of employers

The new government plans to expand the number of labour inspectors to provide for a larger number of inspections of employers, to verify their compliance with labour laws and regulations.

In addition, updated inspection protocols and programmes will be introduced for a variety of industrial activities, which will be coordinated with the tax and social security authorities. Inspection procedures will also be improved in order to assure compliance with the law by employers in areas such as outsourcing schemes, social security registration, profit-sharing payments, and collective bargaining transparency.

Collective bargaining

A new agency will be created to promote collective bargaining for every industry, consisting of professional teams that will encourage dialogue between employers and employees through efficient collective negotiations with the aim of improving labour conditions and productivity. Union activity will be open and transparent and organisations will allow employees to have access to unions and actively participate in union activities in their companies.

Job opportunities

A domestic digital platform will be created as a link between job seekers and job openings for eligible candidates.

Minimum wage

The Project includes a proposal for an annual increase of the minimum wage at the rate of 15.6% plus inflation, so that at the end of the six-year presidential term, the minimum daily wage will be MXN 171.00 as opposed to the current MXN 88.36.

Repatriated migrant workers

Support programmes for Mexican repatriated migrants will be strengthened to improve their skills and interests and facilitate their assimilation into new jobs and return to their communities.

Fair employment certification

A fair employment certificate will be proposed to publicly recognise employers who pay reasonable wages to their employees. This will confer an additional benefit on the employer, with a distinctive logo on their products so that consumers can become aware of their fair employment practices.

Next steps

Although there is not yet a fixed legislative timetable for the Project, the probability that it will become law is very high in view of the electoral make up of the newly elected legislature.

Jorge De Presno
Partner - Mexico
Basham, Ringe y Correa S.C.