Domestic workers ask for changes in the project for compulsory social security

Representatives of the domestic workers, academics and activists from different organizations and entities in the country asked the Senate to modify the reform initiative on social security that seeks to make the affiliation of this sector mandatory. In an open parliament on the issue, they pointed out several flaws in the affiliation pilot program of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), which, they warned, should not remain in the law.

The initiative that would make it compulsory for women to join the IMSS Household employees It was presented on April 22 of this year by “those of us who are part of the Labor and Social Welfare Commission. In that sense, it is representative of all the benches, ”said Senator Patricia Mercado (MC).

It was prepared from the report that the IMSS delivered to Congress in November of last year. “We are behind schedule, we should have reformed the Law (of Social Security) in the past period,” acknowledged the legislator. But before ruling on it, that legislative body convened a open parliament to discuss its impact.

“Enough legislators, enough employers,” said María de la Luz Padua Orihuela, collegiate secretary of the National Union of Domestic Workers (Sinactraho). The IMSS pilot program “has been a failure. And we cannot forget that social security is a right for all and all workers without distinction ”,

The main criticisms of the initiative analyzed by Seando are the requirement to quote 20 days to have the right to social security, that they can enjoy it one month after having paid the installments and that they cannot access a home loan. For this reason, they presented modification proposals and asked for a working table to reach a consensus on the document to be issued.

Through the pilot test, until last October, 40,092 workers of the home have been affiliated to the IMSS. However, this figure does not even cover 2% of the total number of people employed in this activity.

The impact of the reform

The IMSS is an institution that must be protected and strengthened, said Senator Patricia Mercado. Not every country has a social Security like this one, that implies that they should think “how we are going to do so that the IMSS can respond to a policy of social protection and the needs of more than 2 million domestic workers”.

The initiative has an economic impact, but it is extremely positive, said Norma Gabriela López Castañeda, IMSS Director of Incorporation and Collection. The out-of-pocket health expenditure of Mexican households is 7,000 pesos, he reported, “the pilot test costs more or less 1,000 pesos a month.” But it also includes benefits and insurance like maternity.

“The voluntary modalities that we have implemented, such as the pilot program for domestic workers and that of independent workers, generate 66 million pesos a month for the institute,” he added.

Marcelina Bautista, director of the Center for Support and Training for Household Employees (CACEH), celebrated the call to the open parliament and the 2019 reforms to the Federal Labor Law to recognize the rights of this sector. He said that although the initiative to make the affiliation of domestic workers to social security mandatory for employers “is an important effort, it maintains a discriminatory bias.”

The activist asked that the results of the second phase of the pilot program, on which the initiative is based. He reproached that while the rest of the working population in the formal sector can access several of the social security services from the day it is registered, domestic employees can do so up to a month after they began to contribute. “That leaves us unprotected.”

He indicated that “on many occasions, the IMSS staff It continues to give a discriminatory treatment and without clear information of attention. He says he does not know what the registration is really about or that they are unsubscribed ”. Then, the workers “face the refusal to receive medical attention or any other service”, for which it is necessary that the civil servants be trained.

This reform should not represent “barriers to full access to a right,” he declared. CACEH proposed modifications to the articles that 239 B fraction I, 239 C, 239 B and 239 H of the IMSS Law.

Modification proposals

María de la Luz Padua indicated that the domestic workers they continue to “be invisible to the rights that the laws claim to have.” Their working days can last up to 12 hours, 99% do not have a written contract, the majority do not receive a bonus or vacation, vacation or Sunday bonus or overtime pay. “We lack the labor inspection to monitor the conditions in which we work ”.

Some Sinactraho proposals They were:

  • Access to social security from 8 professional minimum wages in a month or reaching 30 hours in 30 days
  • Validity of social security from the beginning of the employment relationship
  • Eliminate tax burdens on employers to encourage enrollment
  • Facilitate payment of fees in supermarkets, convenience stores, Banco del Bienestar branches, or recurring automatic payments on credit cards
  • Facilitate the incorporation of the employer as insured, since most lack social security, by reducing costs of 20% if they also register the worker
  • Right to Infonavit benefits
  • Sanctions In case the employers do not register them, the payment of fines of 100 to 300 Update Measurement Units (UMA)
  • Creation of a specialized body of inspectors to deal with complaints from domestic workers

For her part, Raquel Aguilera, director of the organization Jade Propuestas de Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo, based in Mérida, Yucatán, asked legislators for the initiative to have a cultural and community perspective. They need to work more in the different regions, he said.

According to Jade’s study, the 58% of domestic workers in Mérida she stopped working in 2020. Before the covid-19 pandemic, almost 48,000 people were engaged in domestic work at the state level, 81% were women. But only 588 were affiliated with the IMSS.

This study allowed them to know that 51% take two transports to get to the home where they work. 19%, between four and six transports, “in these transfers are susceptible to a accident or work risk”. For this reason, he also insisted that a month should not pass, after the installments begin to be paid, to be able to access social security rights.

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