Pursuant to the November 30, 2012, amendment to the Mexican Federal Labor Law (FLL) that took effect on December 1 of the same year (the “Reform”), the FLL incorporated, among other things, changes in the law focused on maternity disability periods.

Prior to the Reform, there was no flexibility regarding when and how the six-week pre-birth and the six-week post-birth disability periods were used. In this regard, under the Reform, Article 170 of the FLL became flexible, allowing for the possibility of a pregnant employee’s transfer of up to four weeks of the six pre-birth disability weeks to the six post-birth disability weeks. The Reform permitted pregnant employees to obtain longer post-birth disability periods of up to 10 weeks.

In order to achieve the aforementioned transfer, the following conditions must be met: (1) the pregnant employee must request in writing (through the format described following paragraph) to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), a transfer of the corresponding weeks; (2) the treating doctor of the IMSS (or the private doctor, should it be the case) must authorize in writing such transfer (through the format described following paragraph); and (3) the pregnant employee must take into consideration the opinion of her employer and the nature of her work activities.

In connection with the foregoing, in July of 2016, the IMSS issued the “Pre-Birth Disability Week Transfer Format” and the “Treating Doctor Authorization Form,” standard forms through which pregnant employees will have to request the IMSS authorization to transfer up to four of the six pre-birth disability weeks, to the 6 post-birth disability weeks. If a transfer is authorized, the IMSS will issue a “Unique Maternity Disability Certificate,” which will allow a pregnant employee to justify absences from work during the corresponding maternity disability period. The forms be downloaded from the IMSS website here.

Finally, please note that an update of the “Unique Autodetermination System” (SUA)—used by employers to pay social security contributions to the IMSS—is required in order to be able to report maternity disability periods, in connection with the Reform. This update may be downloaded from the IMSS website.