Mexico plans to reduce weekly work hours to 40 and grant two days of mandatory rest to employees

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The proposal has been initially approved in the Constitutional Points commission in the Chamber of Deputies with the abstention of the PAN deputies.

Mexican employees work the longest hours, according to the OECD, although this is not accompanied by greater productivity. Under this premise, a proposal to reduce weekly work hours to 40 and grant two days off for every five worked has been approved this Tuesday by the Constitutional Points commission in the Chamber of Deputies. So far, they have been working six days and rest, generally, on Sunday. The weekly hours exceed in many cases 48.

With 27 votes in favor and five abstentions from deputies of the National Action Party (PAN), a reform to section A of article 123 of the Constitution regarding rest days was approved, since it would reduce the working day and increase the days of rest ” It contributes to a great extent to improve safety, well-being and a calm climate at work”, indicates the proposal that will be sent to the plenary session of deputies for discussion and voting before April 30, when the regular session ends.

The legislators who voted in favor of the initiative have commented that they hope to contribute to the well-being of the workers of Mexico, who historically have worked long hours with a remuneration that is not comparable to their effort. Susana Prieto Terrazas, deputy from Morena and who has presented the initiative, which has a precedent in another from Movimiento Ciudadano presented by deputy Jorge Álvarez Máynez, said at the end of the vote that the measure will have an immediate impact on employees. “It is a historic day in the life of Mexico. It is transcendental because it has been 106 years since article 123 of the Constitution regarding working hours has not been reformed”, Prieto Terrazas pointed out.

If Mexicans cannot be blamed for something, it is that they do not work. According to article 69 of the Federal Labor Law, for every six days of work, the worker has the right to at least one day of rest, with full salary, almost always on Sunday. On the other hand, the days are, on many occasions, enslaving. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Latin America is one of the regions in the world where more hours are devoted to paid employment annually. In Mexico and other countries in the region, working hours are more than 48 hours a week.

The long hours, added to the high demands of the market, are already taking their toll on the health of workers. According to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), 75% suffer from some symptom related to work stress, such as headaches, stomach upset and cardiovascular problems.

In the worst case, employees go to work depressed. At least 15% manifest depression that can lead to a disability, according to the Self-reported National Survey of Well-being of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Mexico is rethinking the time dedicated to work in contrast to the little that is rested. In December of last year, legislators doubled the number of vacation days that must be compulsorily granted from the first working year. With several delays, reluctance on the part of business groups and long discussions, the approval of this reform to the Federal Labor Law remained several months in suspense.

Source: El Pais