Mexico Imposes New Teleworking Obligations on Employers

January 22, 2021

As HR Policy Global predicted, Mexico’s new teleworking regulations, which came into effect on January 12, require companies to provide necessary equipment, reimburse relevant costs, and guarantee the right to disconnect for teleworking employees.

Definition of Teleworkers:  "Teleworker" is defined as a worker who remotely performs his or her work activities with the remote work constituting more than 40% of working hours.  Occasional or sporadic remote work will not meet the definition of teleworking.  Therefore, work from home in compliance with COVID-19–related health orders may not be considered as teleworking depending on the long-term arrangement.  Additionally, information and communication technologies must be the primary means for contact between the teleworking employee and the employer. 

Employers need to update individual employment agreements to include the new obligations for remote workers.  Employers are required to:

  • Provide, install, and maintain the equipment necessary for teleworking.

  • Reimburse telephone, internet, and electricity costs derived from teleworking.

  • Guarantee an employee's right to disconnect, which means employees can separate from work at the end of the working day.

  • Refrain from punishing teleworking employees who refuse to work outside their regular business hours. 

  • Only monitor teleworking employees in extraordinary situations or when the nature of the work requires such surveillance. 

To ensure compliance, we recommend employers keep written records of work tools, training, and expenses for remote employees, and implement a working hour tracking system for them. Those can be requested by unions to add into established collective bargaining agreements. 

Employers can change their employees from onsite work to teleworking or vice versa, on a voluntary basis in writing.  If the parties agree to a change of work arrangement, employees should be given time to fulfill the switch.

Teleworking might be a new norm in Mexico, so employers should be prepared.  During the pandemic, approximately 69% of companies in Mexico enabled teleworking.  Another survey revealed that 84% of Mexican employees prefer working from home and would continue doing so.  If a company wishes to maintain its teleworking workforce in Mexico, it is important to understand the new regulations and its obligations, establish a workplace policy on teleworking, and consider the impact of such changes from a social security, tax and labor standpoint.