Mexico has the highest rate of workplace stress in the world, according to the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Labor specialist Oddette Murillo said that STPS data reveal that 75% of Mexican workers suffer from work-related stress, higher than China, 73%, and the United States, 59%.
The news comes on the eve of a new labor law intended to reduce occupational burnout caused by stress and violence in the workplace. The World Health Organization (WHO) added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases in May of this year.
Experts say workplace stress can lead to a number of harmful behaviors and disorders, such as gastrointestinal problems, increased caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol use, migraines, insomnia, muscular pain, and even family problems like divorce.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has estimated that 43% of Mexico’s workers suffer from burnout. The OECD also found that Mexicans work an average of 2,255 hours a year, 492 more than workers in other countries.
Vacation time could be a factor. Mexico’s General Labor Law guarantees workers only six vacation days a year, while other Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Panama, Peru, Cuba and Nicaragua, guarantee workers a total of 30.
One requirement of the new rules requires employers to keep registries of psychosocial risk factors identified in their workplaces, including violent and traumatic events. Companies that fail to comply could face fines ranging from 20,000-400,000 pesos (US $1,000-$21,000).