Mexico City, September 30th, 2022.
The Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the Senate of the Republic has extensively been discussing various proposals and initiatives, especially those related to the increase on vacation days, an issue that has remained unchanged since the Federal Labor Law was first enacted in 1970.
Just in the last two years, six initiatives for the extension of vacation days have been presented. These have been promoted by Senator Sasil de León Villard of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Senator Geovanna del Carmen of the Labor Party (PT), Senator Patricia Mercado of the Citizen Movement Party, Senator Bertha Alicia Caraveo Camarena and Senator Ricardo Velázquez Meza, the latter of the National Regeneration Movement Party (Morena).
The various initiatives have aspects in common. They recognize that the most common ailments of employees are excessive fatigue and work-related stress. They also mention studies carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX) regarding the average annual working hours of employees in our country. It also makes a comparative study with other countries, which clearly concludes that working hours are not necessarily related to productivity. Mexico is the country with the longest working hours in the American continent.
It is important to emphasize that the International Labor Organization (ILO) has recommended an average of 18 days of paid annual rest for employees to improve their quality of life; however, recommendations are not binding or mandatory for member countries.
Now, Senator Mercado’s initiative has been the most discussed, considering that she was one of the major promoters of the Open Parliament on Dignified Holidays organized last March 28, 2022, where people from different sectors were invited. This event resulted in the final document for the approval of the reform to Articles 76 and 78 of the Federal Labor Law, which refer to the vacation days to be granted to employees and the consecutive days to be taken.
The vacation days for years worked were proposed as follows:
|Years worked||Vacation days|
|Year 1||12 days|
|Year 2||14 days|
|Year 3||16 days|
|Year 4||18 days|
|Year 5||20 days|
|From 6 to 10 years||22 days|
|From 11 to 15 years||24 days|
|Adding 2 days per every 5 subsequent years.|
Subsequently, the initiatives were a main topic at the Ordinary Session of the Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the Senate this Tuesday, September 27, 2022. During the session, the Senators emphasized their commitment to the progressiveness of the rights of employees, since six days of vacation for the first year, as currently indicated in our Federal Labor Law, are not enough for the proper rest, enjoyment and recreation of people, in addition to not allowing them a suitable physical and mental recovery.
However, these changes are based on the acceptance that employees have expectations and desires that go beyond their work. In addition, everyone has the right to find a balance between their work and their family and personal relationships.
As a result of the aforementioned discussion, the initiative to amend Articles 76 and 78 of the Federal Labor Law, in connection with the extension of the vacation period, was approved unanimously by the eleven Senators present.
The discussion on the issue will continue to navigate the legislative process, pending the approval of the Plenary of the Chamber of Senators, to subsequently send it to the Lower Chamber for its discussion, who, upon approving it, will request its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF).
The initiative proposes that it will become effective on the day following its publication in the DOF. The employer chambers have been advocating that the entry into force be staggered over the following years, so that it does not have a significant economic cost.
It should be noted that the increase in vacation days not only has a labor impact, but also an increase in the base salary for the payment of social security contributions, with a consequential increase in payment of vacation premium. Likewise, the increase would have a fiscal impact, since vacation time would have a limit on its exemption.
This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of Gabriela Guadarrama García.
S I N C E R E L Y,
Jorge De Presno