By Francisco Gama
The recent reform in labor rights for field workers, which came into effect on January 25th, introduced a significant figure for employers in the sector: Labor Inspectors.
These inspectors are among the trained authorities belonging to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, responsible for safeguarding the rights of field workers, who, according to the 2022 Agricultural Census by INEGI, amount to 26.9 million people in Mexico, with 84 percent being men and 16 percent women.
According to INEGI data, out of the total field workforce, 11.1 million are permanent workers.
Among the functions of Labor Inspectors, they must conduct inspection visits at least once a year and during production seasons to ensure that employers comply with the following obligations:
-Ensuring that field work is carried out under appropriate conditions in terms of
training, safety, and health.
- -Ensuring that wages are not lower than those specified by law.
- -Prohibiting the use of services by underage girls and boys.
- -Providing field workers with housing, transportation, and education for their children.
- -Ensuring that employment contracts are in writing and establishing mechanisms to inform field workers about labor authorities and social services they can turn to when they believe their rights have been violated, in order to take legal action.
- Verifying compliance with any other protective provisions for field workers.
Likewise, some of the obligations that employers must fulfill include:
- Signing a written contract with the worker and providing them with a copy (failure to do so does not extinguish the worker’s rights).
- -Providing free and decent accommodation for the worker and their family or economic dependents.
- -Supplying sufficient food during working hours, transportation for the worker and family or economic dependents to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) when necessary, free medication, and medical supplies.
- Life insurance, support for education, training, providing safety equipment, rest during working hours according to the type of work, among other things.
In the event of non-compliance with the obligations mentioned above, the employer may be subject to the following fines:
- -From 250 to 2500 times the Unit of Measurement and Update (UMA) for violating home work protective norms.
- From 250 to 2500 times the Unit of Measurement and Update (UMA) when the employment contract is not in writing and/or the mechanisms established in articles 280 and 282 of the LFT are not established.
- -From 250 to 5000 times the Unit of Measurement and Update (UMA) when housing is not provided or does not meet the minimum required conditions. Also, for not providing food, water, toilets, education, safe and comfortable transportation, daycare services, and protective provisions for female workers mentioned in article 283 Ter.
At Vega, Guerrero & Asociados, we provide guidance on the scope and application of this labor reform and how it may impact companies and their workers.
We are at your service to ensure that your company is always up-to-date with the new legal provisions.