Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Legislation gives domestic workers access to health insurance and other benefits

The Senate has approved a reform that would ensure that Mexico’s more than 2 million domestic workers have access to social security benefits.

Senators voted unanimously in favor of reforming the Social Security Law to make the enrollment of domestic workers in a simplified IMSS social security scheme obligatory.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that domestic workers must must have access to social security benefits like any other worker, but legislation to support its decision was not in place.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women said in February that only 3% of 2.2 million domestic workers receive social security benefits.

The reform approved by the Senate Thursday will now be considered by the lower house of Congress. If it becomes law, domestic workers will have the legal right to access benefits such as health care, sick leave, maternity leave, paid vacations, worker’s compensation, childcare, life insurance, severance pay and a pension.

Employers of housekeepers, gardeners, drivers, nannies and more will be legally obliged to register them in a simplified social security scheme and pay the relevant contributions.

Presenting the reform, Morena party Senator Napoleón Gómez said that recognizing the social and labor rights of domestic workers is urgent.

“For a long time, domestic workers have invested time and effort in work that is essential for the correct functioning of society but for which they receive little pay and no recognition,” he said.

“This is the enormous debt we have with a sector of the population that is mainly made up of women, 94% currently, according to data from [national statistics agency] INEGI.”

With reports from Milenio, El Financiero and La Jornada

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