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An introduction to workers’ compensation in Mexico – Part I

An introduction to workers’ compensation in Mexico – Part I

This is the first in a two part article on the basics of workers’ compensation in Mexico.

While in the US workers’ compensation insurance programs are administered on the state level, workers’ compensation in Mexico is  a component part of a of a bundled group of benefits that are dispensed to Mexico’s laborers through the constitutionally established and federally run Mexican Social Security Institue (IMMS). All companies, and all workers, in the country must be registered with IMMS

In addition to workers’ compensation in Mexico, the IMMS social security system provides benefits for medical care, housing, life insurance, and retirement among others to the nation’s formal sector workers. The right of workers to be compensated for injury and illness related to the workplace is enshrined in Mexico’s Constitution of 1917. Specifically, the issue is addressed in Article 123-XIV. Further clarification as to benefits legally mandated to be paid in cases related to workers’ compensation in Mexico can be found in the country’s Federal Labor Law. The FLV regulates relationships between employees and employers in both individual and collective circumstances, as well as delineates rules and regulations that are related to workplace health and safety issues.

Title IX of the Federal Labor Law pertains specifically to workers’ compensation in Mexico. Title IX defines what benefits laborers that are injured, or become ill, as a result of activities that have taken place at work are entitled to. As in the case of state run workers compensation programs in the United States, Mexico has establish several classes of disability for the purpose of determining what employers must provide in terms of resources to ensure that workers get required medical care and receive appropriate wage indemnity. Classifications established under the regime for workers’ compensation in Mexico are the following:

  • Total temporary disability (TTD)
  • Partial permanent disability (PPD)
  • Permanent total disability (PTD)
  • Death benefits

According to the federal labor statute employers with employees making legitimate workers’ compensation claims in Mexico are required to provide for the employee’s access to clinical care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, hospitalization, if required; orthopedic devices and prosthetics to replace limbs, or other body parts, that are lost in workplace mishaps. Noteworthy, is that fact that companies must pay injured or ill employees 100 percent of TTD for a period of up to three months, beginning on the day on which the employee was approved to receive workers’ compensation in Mexico. After the ninety day period, employers can then request that medical personnel examines employees’ disabilities in order to determine as to whether the injuries or illnesses are total or partial permanent disability. Claims cannot be made on injuries that occur as a result of a worker being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in the workplace, if the injury is self-inflicted or is the result of a suicide attempt. Workers’ compensation in Mexico, through the Federal Labor Law, identifies four hundred types of workplace injuries and indicates the percentage of permanent disability allowed for each. Also, identified in Mexico Federal Labor Law are more than one hundred and fifty illnesses and diseases that are considered to be occupational in nature.

Although under the laws that govern workers’ compensation in Mexico employers are mandated to pay the entire premium for workers’ compensation in Mexico to the Mexican Social Security Institute IMMS), contributions to other IMSS benefit programs (medical,  worker housing in Mexico, life insurance and pension) are borne jointly by the employer, the worker and the government in percentages determined by federal statute.

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This quarterly publication will be populated with content that is useful and relevant to readers that are contemplating Mexico investments, have operations already within the Republic, as well as to other individuals that have an interest in Mexico and its manufacturing sector.