Highlights

  • As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has reportedly spread in Mexico, employers should implement preventive measures in order to avoid risks against the spread of respiratory diseases, especially the new COVID-19.
  • In accordance with the Federal Labor Law (LFT), employees are obliged to observe the provisions, norms and measures with regard to work safety, health and environment indicated by employers for their personal safety and protection.
  • It is recommended that employers share with employees the preventive health measures issued by the Mexican government.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has reportedly spread in Mexico, employers should implement preventive measures in order to avoid risks against the spread of respiratory diseases, especially the new COVID-19.

In accordance with the Federal Labor Law (LFT), employees are obliged to observe the provisions, norms and measures with regard to work safety, health and environment indicated by employers for their personal safety and protection. Employees must also undergo medical examinations to verify that they do not suffer from any incapacity or contagious illness.

In the event that the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) issues a declaration of incapacity, this measure shall result in only temporary suspension of the employment relationship and does not create any sort of liability for the parties.

In compliance with Article 42 of the LFT, the following causes could result in employment relationship suspension: 1) an employee contracts a contagious disease and 2) an employee has a temporary incapacity caused by a disease that does not constitute a work risk.

The suspension shall take effect on the date in which the employer becomes aware of the contagious disease or the work incapacity takes place, and shall end on the date established by the IMSS.

Preventive measures that employers may implement include:

  • taking employees' body temperature when they enter the company's facilities
  • in more critical cases, request specialized medical examinations to detect respiratory diseases
  • identify employees who 1) have traveled, 2) have been in constant contact with people who have traveled to countries such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 30 days, or 3) have been in contact with people who have been diagnosed with or are potential cases of COVID-19.
  • in the event COVID-19 cases are detected, employers should implement a flexible workday policy and also allow a "home office" modality.
  • mandatory compliance with work incapacities issued by IMSS, and assessing and being sensitive to incapacities granted by private health institutions of employees diagnosed with respiratory diseases that can be considered potential cases of COVID-19.

It is recommended that employers share with employees the preventive health measures issued by the Mexican government: Health Messenger and Prevention Process of Infections for People with COVID-19.