NGOs propose changes to accelerate the affiliation of domestic workers to the IMSS

The affiliation scheme of the domestic workers The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) is not accessible to all, according to a study by the Simone de Beauvoir Leadership Institute (ILSB) and the Nosotrxs organization. “There are several characteristics in the design of the requirements and restrictions that could be significantly inhibiting incorporation,” they note.

This enrollment model is in force through the program that is still pilot. But it could become law, since the Senate has relied on it to propose the reform that will make mandatory the membership scheme for this sector. Social security is not only about guaranteeing the right to health, said Marcela Azuela, coordinator of the Hogar Justo Hogar organization, at a press conference. It means that the workers will have labor and social benefits that give them a decent life, such as childcare, training, access to cultural events, retirement savings, disabilities, he listed.

Makieze Medina, coordinator of the Gender and Labor program of the ILSB, on behalf of the organizations in defense of the rights of this population, made an “energetic call” to the authorities of the three levels to guarantee and promote the social security of the domestic workers.

“I know something about the pilot program, I saw it on TV, but it is not my obligation to pay for it,” the employer replied to Blanca Vianey González when the worker told her about her working conditions. As long as the legislative reform to make membership compulsory is not completed, it will be more difficult for them to enforce it. “But that’s why we fight every day,” he said.

But in addition to the reform, they have other obstacles: only those who work for the IMSS can join the IMSS. less 20 days a month and earn a minimum monthly salary, according to the geographic area that corresponds to them.

So the first recommendation is to remove those two restrictions, as well as reducing the amount of contributions and salaries to cover and granting coverage immediately, not a month after payment, they point out in the report Recommendations to the pilot test for the incorporation of domestic workers to the mandatory Social Security regime.

Tax incentives, another option

“2019 was the great year for the domestic workers regarding the recognition of their rights in the law ”, Marcela Azuela pointed out. In April of that year, the IMSS launched the first phase of the enrollment pilot program. Only in December 2018 the Supreme Court of Justice had declared discriminatory that the affiliation regime for this sector was voluntary and not mandatory, as for the rest of the working population. The highest court ordered the institute to create a trial program and then make it final.

Then, in July 2019, Congress reformed the Federal Labor Law (LFT) to include chapter XIII, specific to domestic workers. At the end of that same year, 2019, both Chambers ratified Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), also adopted for this sector.

“We already have a legal framework that protects us and tells us how to do things. But there is a lack of a cultural change and in that sense we are still not up to the task ”, lamented the activist. Last November, the IMSS registered 40,491personas domestic workers in the pilot program. This figure represents 1.8% of the more than 2.1 million employed persons reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) in October.

For the ILSB and Nosotrxs a cause of such low affiliation could be the requirements. “Without a doubt, the IMSS has made a recognizable effort to include domestic workers within its social security schemes; however, there are still areas of opportunity ”, they point out in the report.

According to the ILO, social Security for domestic workers, they must be inclusive, affordable, simple, compliance guaranteeing and attractive, that is, “capable of attracting the largest number of potential participants”, the ILSB and Nosotrxs report points out.

Therefore, they recommend implementing a series of economic incentives to achieve the highest number of affiliates, such as discounts or reduced fees for both parties when registering together. One of the great obstacles for employers to assume their responsibility to those they hire is that they also do not have social security and their salaries are not always high, so a subsidy to their contributions could work, they suggest.

Tax institutions could also generate “attractive incentives for employers, such as agreements that exempt from certain payments or fees those who demonstrate that they have a domestic worker duly affiliated with the IMSS ”. All of these measures can be temporary or permanent.

The ILSB and Nosotrx called for “more dissemination campaigns from the secretariats and government agencies to publicize the program among people employers and workers”. These information actions must be of a national nature on television and radio, but also social networks or media ad hoc to each region, said Makieze Medina.

They asked the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) to monitor compliance with the labor rights of this group through inspections designed according to the particularities of this activity.

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