In light of the sanitary alert and accord issued by the Ministry of Health, published in the official gazette of April 30, 2009 ("Accord"), we would like to alert you that such Accord orders the suspension of labor activities in the public and productive sector from May 1st through May 5th, 2009. The Accord was issued by the Ministry of Health on behalf of the President in accordance with the mandate granted by the April 25, 2009 presidential decree; therefore this Accord must be considered mandatory throughout Mexico.
Pursuant to the sanitary alert and order issued by the Ministry of Health, published in the official gazette of April 30, 2009 (the “Order”), we are issuing this alert.
The Order mandates the suspension of all activities in the public and “productive” (SIC) sectors, effective from May 1st through May 5th, 2009, inclusive.
The Order was issued by the Ministry of Health on behalf of the President in accordance with the mandate granted by the April 25, 2009 presidential decree; therefore this Order must be considered mandatory throughout Mexico.
The Order mandates the suspension of productive activities, this should be interpreted as those which are not essential and necessary to face the sanitary contingency, such as hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, medical services, financial, telecommunications, the media, hotels and restaurant without confined areas, gas stations, grocery stores, supermarkets, transportation and gas distribution. The Decree did not limit the foregoing activities as being exempted to the suspension mandate.
The Order mandates a suspension of activities that has the effect of a legal suspension of labor obligations, thus, employees are not bound to work and employers are not obligated to pay wages during the suspension, except for the May 1st mandatory holiday, and contractually agreed days off (i.e. Sunday). We have confirmed this opinion with the Ministry of Labor who sustains that this is a public contingency in which each party must support its burden.
The Order does not establish a specific sanction for those employers who refuse to observe it; however the Health Ministry is empowered to issue the necessary measures to assure its enforcement by issuing sanctions pursuant to the provisions of the General Health legislation such as a fines of up to 16,000 times the minimum daily wage and/or the temporary or definitive shut down of the working site.