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    The keys to vacation reform in Mexico

    In a file photograph, workers at the headquarters of a bank in Mexico City.Susana Gonzalez (Bloomberg)

    The Chamber of Deputies approved this Thursday the reform to extend working vacations in Mexico from 6 to 12 days from the first year. Business associations lobbied to prevent some of the advances, pointing to the high operating cost of suddenly assuming this increase in days off. However, an agreement between the different sectors of Morena saved the reform, with some changes compared to the draft approved in the Senate a month ago:

    What is the reform?

    It has been approved that vacation days be increased from 6 to 12 days for workers with more than 1 year of service and that these be increased by 2 more days each year until reaching 20 days. As of the sixth year, the vacation period will increase by two days for every five days of services. Mexico is the OECD country where the longest hours are worked, and the number of vacation days has not changed since the enactment of the Federal Labor Law in 1970.

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    What changed regarding the Senate minutes?

    The way in which these vacation days can be taken. Initially, the opinion approved unanimously in the Senate forced to take at least 12 days of vacation continuously. The modification endorsed by the deputies to article 78 introduces greater flexibility: the worker will have the power to decide if he wants to take them consecutively or divide them as best suits him. In theory, that decision will depend on him, not the boss.

    What remains of the opinion approved by the senators?

    Article 76 of the Federal Labor Law, which establishes that workers who have more than one year of service will enjoy an annual paid vacation period, which in no case may be less than 12 working days, and which will increase by two days working days, up to 20, for each subsequent year of service. As of the sixth year, the vacation period will increase by two days for every five days of services.

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    Now what’s next?

    Once the new opinion has been approved in the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies, it must be voted on again in the plenary session of the Senate. The maximum date to be discussed is next December 15. If this term expires, its discussion would have to be postponed until the next session in February 2023. The political parties have promised to vote on it in the current session.

    When does it go into effect?

    If approved in both chambers before December 15, the reform to working holidays would enter into force on January 1, 2023, or the day after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation. The modifications of this decree will be applicable to individual or collective labor contracts in force on the date of its entry into force.

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    Where is Mexico with this vacation reform?

    The extension of vacations will be a step in the right direction to expand a labor law, but it is not enough with respect to its international peers. The International Labor Organization recommends an average of two weeks of uninterrupted vacation. With this adjustment to 12 days, Mexico is on a par with Argentina, Belize, Vietnam or Mozambique and a little closer to other nations such as Peru (13 days); Israel (14 days) and Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela and Chile all with 15 days. On the contrary, other countries are still far from the Mexican comparison, for example, Brazil, which gives its workers more than 26 days, and Cuba, Nicaragua and Panama, where they enjoy 30 days off.

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