Domestic workers at a rally for better pay and benefits. The green glove is a symbol of the movement. Domestic workers at a rally for better pay and benefits. The green glove is a symbol of the movement.

Domestic workers call for minimum wage between 102 and 550 pesos

A pilot scheme for social security benefits begins on Saturday

Domestic workers have told the National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami) that their daily salary should be set between 102 and 550 pesos (US $5 to $28).

Conasami president Andrés Peñaloza told the newspaper El Financiero that talks with domestic workers are currently taking place and that a formal salary proposal will be presented to the commission’s governing body in May.

“. . . They’ve suggested a range that goes from 102.68 pesos up to 550 pesos,” Peñaloza said, but added that some workers have pushed for a daily wage of between 205 and 300 pesos (US $10.50 to $15.50).

The daily minimum wage for all workers increased by 16% on January 1 to 102.68 pesos but data shows that domestic workers earned an average of 155 pesos per day during the first month of this year.

Peñaloza said Conasami will continue to discuss the wage issue with domestic workers in different parts of the country and that it will also take into account criteria recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

There are 2.3 million domestic workers in Mexico, of whom 40% earn the minimum wage and just 3% have access to social security and health care benefits.

However, the Supreme Court (SCJN) ruled in December that domestic workers must have access to the IMSS social security scheme.

In an amparo, or injunction, the SCJN ordered the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) to implement a pilot program in the first half of this year that will ensure that domestic workers have access to the benefits they will be legally entitled to.

Today, the rules under which the pilot program will operate were published in the federal government’s official gazette.

Starting tomorrow, employers will be able to enroll people who work in their homes in the pilot program either through the IMSS website or at its offices.

Employers will be required to pay a monthly fee to IMSS that will give their employees access to sickness, maternity, health care, disability and retirement benefits as well as life insurance.

Contributions paid by employers will vary depending on how many days per month they employ a domestic worker.

If a housekeeper works at two or more homes, his or her employers will share the IMSS enrollment expenses.

The SCJN said that within a period of no longer than three years, all domestic workers in Mexico should be enrolled in a robust and effective social security scheme.

Source: El Financiero (sp), El Economista (sp) 

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