Thursday, April 18, 2024

‘Historic’ bill to increase paid vacation days passes lower house of Congress

Lawmakers in the lower house of Congress have voted unanimously in favor of increasing paid vacation days for workers who have completed at least one year of service.

Put forward by legislators with the ruling Morena party and the Citizens Movement (MC) party, the bill will now be sent to the Senate, where it is likely to be approved next week. An earlier version of the same bill passed the upper house last month.

If the bill becomes law, workers will be entitled to take 12 consecutive days of paid leave after completing one year of service with the same employer, double the number they are currently entitled to.

The bill was modified in the lower house’s labor committee to reduce the number of permitted consecutive vacation days to six, with the other days to be taken separately. However, the provision allowing 12 consecutive days off was reinstated before the bill was put to a vote Thursday in the Chamber of Deputies, where all 476 lawmakers present supported it.

Workers who have completed more than one year of service with the same employer but fewer than 10 will also get six additional days of vacation time if the proposed reform to the Federal Labor Law passes the Senate. Those who have completed 10 or more years of service would get eight additional days.

An employee who has worked with the same employer for 2 years would thus get 14 days of paid vacation during their third year of service — compared to eight under the current law — while a worker who reaches five years of employment would get 20 days off, up from 14. The number of annual paid vacation days maxes out at 32 for workers with over 30 years of employment completed.

Manuel de Jesús Baldenebro, a Morena deputy and president of the lower house’s labor committee, said Thursday that increasing vacation time “is an advance in the recognition of the rights that all workers should enjoy.”

“Workers who have more than one year of service will be able to enjoy a period of paid vacations that cannot be less than 12 days,” he said.

MC Deputy Sergio Barrera said that increased vacation time “will be a reality for more than 20 million [formal sector] workers.”

The lower house of Congress in session on Thursday.
The lower house of Congress in session on Thursday. (Cámara de Diputados)

“Today is a great day for Mexico. Today we settle the historic debt with the workers of this country,” he said.

Deputy Marco Antonio Natale of the Green party asserted that increasing vacation time will improve workers’ health and well-being, and also benefit employers as productivity will go up.

The labor committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have reached an agreement to complete the bill’s legislative process by Dec. 15 so that the reformed Labor Law can take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Carlos Aceves del Olmo, a senator with the Institutional Revolutionary Party and general secretary of the Confederation of Mexican Workers, said on Twitter Thursday night that the Senate is waiting to receive the bill in order to ratify “this historic conquest of the working class, which guarantees the right to remunerated and decent rest in benefit of physical and mental health.”

With reports from El Universal, El Financiero and El Economista

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