After several months of debate and uncertainty, on November 3, 2022, the Mexican Senate approved a bill that would amend Sections 76 and 78 of Mexico’s Federal Labor Code (FLL) to give employees the right to take days off with pay.
Mexico is currently one of the countries in the world with the fewest days of paid vacation for employees, yet Mexican employees on average work more hours than other workers in the Western Hemisphere – an average of 2,255 hours per year. Since 2018, with the implementation of the Official Standard No. 035 of the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS), “Psychosocial Risk Factors at Work – Identification, Analysis and Prevention” (NOM-035-STPS-2018), the Mexican government has begun progressing to achieve more balance between Work and life and prevent future consequences for employees, such as burnout syndrome and work-related illnesses.
If enacted with Senate approval, the measure would allow employees to accrue leave as follows:
Although the bill has been approved by the Senate, it still needs to be reviewed and approved by Mexico’s Federal Congress, and eventually by the executive branch before it is published, at which point it becomes enforceable. Therefore, changes to the bill can still be made, and an effective date cannot yet be set. However, the bill is moving quickly and the government appears ready to make the new leave system enforceable by 2023.
Approval of the reform will come with several outcomes, including the economic impact on employers when vacation premiums are paid, vacation policies modified, and company retention plans. Additional consequences may include a cultural shift that may help prevent burnout at work, increase productivity, and promote more dignified working conditions for employees in Mexico.