On 15 July 2022, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published the Draft from Official Mexican Standard called PROY-NOM-037-STPS-2022 (“NOM-037“) regarding health and safety standards for telework, understood as the:
“way of subordinate labor organization consisting of the performance of paid activities at different places from original workplace for which the physical presence of teleworker is not necessary required in it, using information and communication technologies contact and control between the teleworker and the employer.”
The standard will be applied throughout the Mexican Republic to employers and work centers with employees who telework for more than 40% of their weekly working hours.
NOM-037 is subject to public consultation, so interested parties can submit comments related to its content to the National Consultive Committee for Standardization of Safety and Health at Work via email through [email protected]. The deadline for submitting comments is 60 calendar days following the day of publication.
What it means to you?
New employers’ obligations:
- Employers must have an updated list of employees with, at least, the following information: (i) name, (ii) gender, (iii) position, (iv) activities, (v) job profile, (vi) telephone number, (vii) address of teleworker and (viii) agreed workplaces, as well as the checklist of employment conditions that will be verified through a visit to the workplace or a list provided by the teleworker and verified by the employer.
- Make sure that the place where the employee is to provide their services has connectivity, adequate health and safety conditions, such as good electricity, lighting, ventilation, and adequate, ergonomic conditions, including a desk and chair capable of height adjustment, in a way that the feet and spine can be comfortable.
Actions to take:
- Establish in writing and spread a telecommuting policy
- Inform teleworkers of the exposure to ergonomic and psychosocial risk factors
- Establish and document the process of the correct implementation of the change from face-to-face work to teleworking
- Provide teleworkers an ergonomic chair, necessary supplies for proper performance and accessories to guarantee ergonomic conditions
- Establish and document programs to provide appropriate maintenance for equipment provided by the employer
- Change the modality of telework to face-to-face work if a teleworker informs the employer of any condition or alteration of safety and health conditions at work that justifies a return to face-to-face work.
- Take account of, with appropriate mechanisms, domestic abuse that justifies returning to the face-to-face modality temporarily or permanently.
Establish an appropriate mechanism for verifying health and safety conditions from the places where teleworkers carry out their activities, through direct reviews (with previous consent from teleworker) or through the self-application of the checklist, which should be validated by the employer or whomever they designate.
Self-application of the checklist of conditions does not mean the transfer of responsibility from the employer to the teleworker; the validation will be still carried out by the employer or by whomever they designate.
The employer must certify, through documentary evidence, the fulfillment of its obligations. The obligation to report on the risks related to teleworking activities must be certified, alongside documentary evidence, with interviews.
The employer will have the option of hiring the services of an accredited inspection unit to assess compliance according to the standard.
Accredited and approved inspection units that assess compliance with the present standard must issue an opinion, as long as the work center complies with the provisions of the standard.
We will keep you informed once the draft of the standard is approved and the final version is published.