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In brief

The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) recently issued a resolution authorizing a strategy to determine whether certain serious Covid-19 cases qualify as an occupational illness. The strategy is effective until the end of the health emergency declared by the General Health Council.

The resolution could have serious implications for companies because deaths or temporary disabilities derived from Covid-19 and classified as a professional risk, or permanent partial or total disabilities, will affect the accident rate in the company. This affects, and could increase, an employer’s fees in this area of insurance.

The government will deploy a training program for IMSS’ medical personnel. Training will be provided based on the guidelines for the proactive qualification of professional risks due to Covid-19 published by IMSS on 31 December 2020.


Recommended actions

Employers should consider implementing the following actions:

  • There will be Covid-19 cases caused by factors outside the workplace and therefore should not be considered a professional illness. Accordingly, employers should offer alternative explanations to detract from the nature of the occupational risk
  • Evaluate whether there are cause-and-effect elements to connect the Covid-19 infection to the workplace
  • Determine whether the employee was working 14 days prior to the temporary disability
  • Review each particular case at the time of answering the Notice ST-9. If the answer is in the affirmative, Covid-19 illness will be considered a professional illness, and the days, bankrolled for temporary disability, the opinions for permanent partial disability and the deaths that derive from said illness, will affect the premiums calculation

Our Employment and Compensation Practice Group can assist companies with the necessary case-by-case analysis and can draft the related Covid-19 Notices.

Author

Maria del Rosario Lombera is member of Baker McKenzie’s Employment Practice Group in Mexico City. She was a member of the Mexican Commission of Employers before the International Labour Organization at annual conferences in the Commissions of Social Security and Globalization and Employment, and has participated in several meetings of seasoned practitioners in the field of social security. Maria joined Baker McKenzie Abogados in 1985, and became a partner in 2005. She spoke in several seminars including the Technical Workshop on Unemployment Insurance Systems in America held in Florida and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Author

Aleyda Elizabeth Aviles-Rodriguez is an associate in Baker McKenzie's social security practice. She is experienced in consulting on compensation and salary schemes, payments of social security dues to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the National Workers' Housing Fund Institute (INFONAVIT), supporting clients with regard to requests and tax-related actions from tax authorities; and advising on the resolution of conflicts before administrative and litigation authorities, the Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Justice, and district and collegiate courts.