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New laws offer hope for Mexico’s domestic workers

Monday, June 17, 2019

Subject

Domestic workers' rights.

Significance

The Senate on May 14 passed a bill granting labour rights to Mexico’s 2 million domestic workers. The changes grant such employees the same rights as other salaried workers, including compulsory affiliation to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which provides health care and other benefits, a contract, a fixed wage and maximum working hours. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) will now sign the bill into law, though the provisions amending the Federal Labour Law (LFT) and the Law of the Social Security Institute (LSS) will not come into effect till 2020.

Impacts

  • The reforms will have only a limited impact in reducing informal employment, which accounts for 56.9% of workers (30.8 million people).
  • IMSS affiliation would immediately benefit some 30% of domestic workers who used to be covered by the dismantled Seguro Popular.
  • Mexico is yet to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Domestic Workers; it is unclear whether or when it will.
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