On November 1, 2021, Mexico’s Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare (“STPS” for its acronym in Spanish) published a Decree in the Official Journal of the Federation (“DOF”) creating a new Voluntary Labor Verification Program (the “Program”), which entered into force the day following its publication. The decree provides that employers may voluntarily report to the STPS their level of compliance with General Labor Conditions, Development and Training, Safety and Sanitation, among other aspects, as relates to their respective workplaces.
In relation to the Program, the General Rules of Workplace Inspections and Implementation of Sanctions in force, in article 2, section VI, 46 and 47, provides for Alternate Mechanisms to Inspections (“AMI”) to be conducted by duly certified entities. The AMI are alternative mechanisms that allow for reporting compliance to the STPS in an easy, transparent, amicable, and free manner. Employers and employees will be able to use technological devices for the implementation of the AMI, which information will be made known to them in the DOF. Employers registered with the AMI will be exempted from regular inspections; however, such does not mean that the STPS is waiving its inspection authority.
All employers in Mexico are eligible to join the AMI for matters relating to workplace safety and sanitation, and for development and training of their employees. However, employers under federal jurisdiction may join the AMI only with respect to general labor conditions matters and only if they comply with the requirements set forth in articles 123, part A, section XXXI, paragraphs a) and b) of the Constitution and 527, sections I and II of the Federal Labor Law. For employers not under federal jurisdiction, the STPS may enter into cooperation agreements with Mexican states so employers may receive the benefits of the Program.
In all cases, the receipt issued by the STPS may exempt employers from regular inspections on the above matters, as well as other matters and obligations governed by Mexican labor laws, and such will be regulated by guidelines to be published on the STPS website.
Among the principal advantages of the Program, the exemption from regular inspections is one of the most important, as it grants employers the opportunity to demonstrate their compliance with STPS guidelines.