Mexico: Are Companies Ready to Implement the “Official Standard NOM-037-STPS-2023 Telework-Safety and Health Conditions at Work”?
On 8 June 2023, the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry issued the “Official Standard NOM-037-STPS-2023 Telework-Safety and Health Conditions at Work,” which establishes certain obligations and requirements for employers to protect and safeguard the health and safety of their employees working under the Teleworking modality. Some of the obligations set out in the Official Standard require employers to have a Teleworking Policy in place by 5 December 2023 along with other obligations.
The teleworking modality under Mexican legislation should be understood as working more than 40% of their work shift on a remote basis by using information and communication technology.
Employers with employees working under the teleworking modality should comply with the following obligations:
- Implement and maintain a list of teleworking employees, including their name, gender, marital status, workplace, and percentage of time they will telework, as well as a list of computer and ergonomic equipment provided to each teleworker.
- Establish a written teleworking policy that meets certain specific content requirements, such as communication mechanisms with teleworkers to avoid social isolation, a work schedule that guarantees the right to disconnect, mechanisms for teleworkers to notify changes of address, and mechanisms to return to in-person work.
- Verify that the teleworking location complies with the necessary requirements and appropriate ergonomic conditions, which may be verified through a physical visit of the Health and Safety Commission with the prior consent of the teleworker or by providing a checklist to the employees in order for them to complete the list and note whether or not the appropriate health and safety conditions are met, gathering any evidence of this.
- Provide an ergonomic chair and the necessary supplies/equipment for the performance of telework.
- Implement mechanisms to deal with domestic violence cases, including the possibility for the employee to return to work in person.
Moreover, the employees have the following obligations to fulfill as set out in the Official Standard:
- Comply with the telework policy.
- Provide the necessary facilities to verify the safety and health conditions of the place where they develop their activities under the teleworking modality.
- Safeguard and keep in good condition the electronic equipment, materials, tools, and ergonomic material provided by the employer.
- Inform the employer in writing of any temporary or permanent change of address at which teleworkers perform their activities.
- Notify the employer and the Health and Safety Commission of the work-related risks.
- Comply with the employer´s policies and mechanisms for the protection of data and information.
The conformity assessment proceeding will be carried out in either of the following ways: The labour authority will conduct an inspection visit, or the inspection will be done by a conformity assessment agency, which are private agencies accredited and approved by the labour authorities that provide evaluation services regarding compliance with the Official Standard. The findings will corroborate if employers are compliant with the corresponding obligations. The effects of the findings will last up to two years, provided the conditions evaluated at the time of its issue do not change. This document must be available in case the labour authority requires it.
As explained above, employers should be ready by 5 December 2023 to comply with the obligations set forth in the Official Standard. We are ready to assist accordingly.