On July 15th, the Mexican Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (PROY-NOM037-SPTS-2022) published NOM 037, a new regulation aimed at protecting the well-being and health of those employees who perform their duties through remote work.
Why did NOM 037 arise?
This regulation, elaborated by the Mexican authorities, comes in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the number of people working remotely increased exponentially as an alternative to on-site work.
Given the situation, many countries, including Latin American countries, have been obliged to establish or update their remote work regulations to improve them. It is primarily to adapt them to the actual reality of working from home since approximately March 2020.
In this sense, NOM 037 includes a series of commitments and requirements for both companies and employees who work from home, intending to prevent, where possible, risks to people’s physical and psychological health and encourage a more sustainable performance for organizations.
What NOM 037 stipulates to companies
NOM 037 establishes several requirements for companies regarding how they should approach the prevention of health problems of remote workers. Among the most significant points are the following:
1. Contract modifications
Organizations should carry out the relevant modifications in contracts to clarify how remote working affects the conditions in which it is performed, particularly in terms of working hours.
2. Provision of resources to people
Companies must provide remote workers with the necessary equipment and materials to perform their duties in healthy and safe conditions.
3. Assume additional costs for remote work
Companies must avoid that the systematic performance of tasks in remote working format causes workers to incur expenses -for example, electricity, among other inputs- that are not their responsibility and should be covered by the company.
4. Information and training on risk prevention
The various risks to physical and psychological well-being caused by work do not disappear just by substituting the office for home or another space. For this reason, NOM 037 indicates that the company must make available to workers the necessary means for the prevention of psychosocial risks arising from remote work.
What NOM 037 requires from workers
Just as the regulations currently being implemented in Mexico impose various measures on companies to prevent and address the psychosocial risks arising from remote working, employees are also called for their share of responsibility. Among the main issues to be taken into account are the following:
1. Formalize the remote work format
Reach an agreement on where the work will be performed and inform of the modifications made to that agreement if they occur, particularly if those modifications could constitute a psychosocial risk to their well-being.
2. Take responsibility for supplies
According to the regulations that are in the process of coming into force, workers who perform their tasks remotely must be responsible for taking care of the materials and equipment provided by the company.
3. Observe the company’s internal rules
Employees of companies working remotely must also keep track of the strategies and methodologies established by the company to carry out the work.
In short, the appearance of NOM 037 is aimed at ordering, regulating, and laying the foundations so that remote work, a format that seems to have been introduced in a multitude of companies, does not pose a risk to the physical and psychological well-being of workers and, therefore, a threat to the organization.
We care for emotional well-being in organizations
At ifeel, we believe that taking care of the employee purpose and integrating it properly into the company’s mission is crucial to fostering the well-being of the people who are part of the team.
With this service, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the psychological well-being of the teams in their charge. If you are part of the HR department in your organization, we recommend that you try our program now and see how it could help you.
This program offers all employees a complete mental health care service that they can access in different ways depending on their needs. Those who wish to have access to an online therapy service with one of our psychologists specialized in cases like theirs or interact with one of our professionals to receive emotional support in a more specific circumstance that worries them.
Of course, in our Resources section, you can find different materials that will help you with many of your day-to-day functions as part of the HR department. For example, podcasts, HR guides on various topics (e.g., employee experience or how to design a good HR strategy), or Interviews with leading HR executives. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspectorate.
We hope you found this post on the NOM 037 regulation in Mexico interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.