Nieuws Published at 1 April 2020

HHM Virtual round table: Human Resources

31 March 2020 Holland House Mexico hosted the first virtual round table. Human Resources: Employer / employee rights & regulations was the central topic.

During this virtual round table, the team of experts consisted of Mr. Mauricio Foeth from MOWAT, Mrs. Ivonne Pous from Randstad and Mr. Alfredo Barrueta from IPS Powerful People. 

Mr. Foeth from MOWAT Law Firm explained in much detail the legal framework that applies to the current stage of the COVID-19 contingency. There are some options for companies to lower their HR costs, but these should be evaluated on a case-to-case basis and can change at any time, pending the measures that the Mexican Federal Government instigate. 

The general goal of any company is to continue business during and after the crisis. Therefore, all decisions that are made should focus on this. This can lead to conflicting situations, especially in the field of Human Resource Management. Mr. Foeth stated: “The human factor is essential. Take the time to talk with employees in person and come to a solution together.” Mrs. Pous from Randstad also underlined the importance of maintaining good and healthy relationships between employers and employees.  

Mr. Foeth described two concrete situations that can occur. Firstly, in the event that an employee is diagnosed by the Mexican Institute for Social Security (IMSS), the general regulations for sick leave are installed through IMSS. This means that the employee will receive 60% of his/her salary directly from IMSS; the employer is not obliged to pay any salary for the period that IMSS establishes. 

Secondly, the Federal government can install a general prohibition of work activities. In this case the company is obliged to pay all employees a compensation equal to the minimum wage for all the days that the prohibition lasts, for a maximum period of 1 month. This is not currently the situation; hence employers are not allowed to turn to this measure (yet). 

In the majority of countries people are working from home. In Mexico, home office is slowly becoming the norm as well. According to Mr. Foeth, home office is an effective tool which enables the employee to still be available for the employer. Therefore, the employer is obliged to pay his/her full salary unless individual agreements between the employer and employee are agreed upon.  Mr. Barrueta added to this the importance of having written documentation on all agreements. Furthermore, he suggested to continue to declare the full salary of the employee at IMSS, to fully protect the employee in the event of sickness from the employee (as explained in the first example of Mr. Foeth). 

The following productive discussion provided the participants with hands-on approached to some of the difficulties they are facing at the moment. Team Holland House Mexico wants to thank all the speakers and participants of this successful first virtual round table. 

The Mexican Secretary for Health (STPS) published a short guide for companies which can be found here (in Spanish). You can find a recording of the round table here.

The next virtual round table will be held on 2 April 2020 at 10:00 AM (GMT-6). Topic: Legal Matters in the Mexican Energy & Maritime sector. Register here.