COVID-19: Actions by authorities and action guide for workplaces
THE CORONA VIRUS IN MEXICO - PHASE 2
Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report in which it placed Mexico in Phase 2 of the Coronavirus Contingency (COVID-19). This means that it can now also be transmitted by local infection and not only by contagion from abroad. A restriction on mobility has not been decreed yet.
Given the ease of infection, several countries, including Mexico, have taken a series of actions to contain the spread of this virus. As part of these actions, various authorities have determined to suspend their work.
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and the Federal Judiciary have announced that no sessions, hearings or procedural deadlines will be held during the period from March 18 to April 19, 2020.
Two days later, on March 19, 2019, the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board published a statement in its bulletin suspending hearings and proceedings from March 23 to April 19, 2020.
At the local level, the authorities throughout the Republic did not have a uniform response, so they are gradually suspending work, communicating with the general public and making announcements through their local bulletins. Most of the Boards have decided to suspend work for the period from March 23 to April 19, 2020 and these days have been declared public holidays, so new dates will be set for the holding of hearings that are scheduled in this period.
The Federal Board in Mexico City determined that hearings related to the strike procedures will continue to be held, as well as the celebration of agreements, with and without trial and compliance of awards. Each of the Local Boards have determined the areas that will continue to work and provide services to the general public, in each of the
To date, there are still Boards that have not pronounced themselves on this matter and continue working without suspending hearings (Baja California, Aguascalientes and Zacatecas).
ACTION GUIDE FOR WORKPLACES AGAINST COVID-19
Last Friday, on March 20th, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published an Action Guide for Work Centers against COVID-19, with the purpose of adopting measures that contribute to prevention and the fight against the Coronavirus.
The objective of the guide is to prepare the workplaces before a potential sanitary contingency situation. It recommends actions such as the planning or training of employees, temporary measures as staggered schedules, as well as mechanisms that the workplaces will be able to implement to prevent the contagion and reduce the impact that the epidemic could cause them, by means of exceptional practices of health and hygiene and the identification of co-workers with symptoms of disease.
As part of the planning actions, the guide establishes the need to identify the tasks or functions that can be made more flexible or carried out from home, as opposed to those activities that are essential for maintaining the activity of the workplace. Likewise, the Ministry has assumed the temporary policy of suspending non-essential activities, in accordance with the “National Social Distancing” program, which will run from March 23 to April 19, 2020.
It is important to note that this suspension is not the result of a health contingency declaration, and therefore the obligations to pay the salary are subject to the negotiations that can be achieved with the employees/unions.
In the event that a general health contingency situation is declared, the employer is obliged to suspend work in general, exempting the workers from going to work and the employer from paying wages, with the latter having the obligation to cover its workers with compensation consisting of one (1) day's minimum wage for each day the contingency passes for a maximum period of one month. After this period, there will be no obligation to render services by the worker or to pay salaries by the employer until the contingency decreed subsists.
Meanwhile, the scenarios set forth in our previous communication will continue to be in force. At MGGL we are working to keep our clients and strategic partners updated on any official communication or disposition published by the competent authorities while this condition subsists.
Likewise, we have adopted the required sanitary measures to avoid the transmission of COVID-19 among our personnel, activating the necessary protocols to guarantee our clients the continuity of our services.