Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Senate considers bill to double paid vacation days for Mexican workers

Annual vacation time for Mexican workers could soon double thanks to a proposal to be considered by senators next week.

Paid leave for employees who have completed one year of service would increase from six days to 12 under a proposal put forward by Citizens Movement party Senator Patricia Mercado.

Workers would get an extra two days of vacation time for each additional year of service they complete during their first five years of employment. After that period, employees would have to work for another five years to qualify for an additional two days paid leave.

Mercado presented her proposal to the Senate’s Labor and Social Welfare committee, whose members are set to debate and vote on it next Tuesday. If approved, the so-called “decent vacations” proposal would progress to the Senate for consideration by all 128 senators.

Similar proposals have been introduced to Congress in the past but haven’t been approved. It remains to be seen whether Mercado’s bill will attract sufficient support to become law.

The current vacation time offered to employees who have completed one year of service is significantly less than that recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency.

Established in 1970, the ILO’s “Holidays with Pay Convention” states that “every person to whom this Convention applies shall be entitled to an annual paid holiday” of at least “three working weeks for one year of service.”

The standard working week in Mexico is six days, so Mexican workers would be entitled to 18 days of paid leave per year.

Mexico, however, has not ratified the ILO convention, and annual vacation time here is significantly less than that offered by employers in many other countries.

Jorge Sales, a labor lawyer, suggested that increasing paid vacations was too big a burden for employers to assume. The government wouldn’t cover any of the additional costs incurred by employers, he told the newspaper Reforma.

With reports from Reforma and El Economista 

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