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Mexican Chamber of Deputies Nears Decision on 40-Hour Work Week

Mexico City – After months of deliberation, the reduction of the work week to 40 hours for Mexican workers is approaching a crucial stage in the Chamber of Deputies. The initiative, initially proposed in March, seeks to mandate two days of rest for every five days of work, with full payment, effectively reducing the work week from 48 to 40 hours for millions of Mexican workers.

The proposal faced delays, pushing the discussion from April to September. However, in October, a decision was made to conduct open parliament forums involving various stakeholders such as academics, magistrates, businessmen, workers, and union leaders. After five forums where participants shared their perspectives, data, and proposals, a consensus was finally reached last Wednesday among all parliamentary groups, paving the way for further discussion in plenary.

The proposed changes encompass modifications to the work day structure in Mexico, covering daytime and mixed schedules, and will affect section A of Article 123 of the Constitution. For daytime hours, spanning from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, the reform suggests a six-hour workday. For mixed work days, with hours ranging from early morning to daybreak, a maximum of 7.5 hours is proposed. Night shifts, from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am the following day, would have a proposed maximum duration of 7 hours.

The proposal is preparing revisions and corrections to then be discussed in plenary session, and it is expected to be voted on before December 15, the date on which the current session ends.

If approved in the Chamber of Deputies, the initiative would proceed to the Chamber of Senators, undergoing two phases: modification to the Constitution and changes to the Federal Labor Law to define implementation rules. During this stage, adjustments could be made, addressing issues such as the gradual implementation or flexibility of the standard. However, there remains a considerable journey before the initiative materializes, requiring approval from the Senate and subsequently from 51% of local congresses.

It is important to note that, even with a favorable conclusion to the discussions and approval of the reform, implementation is slated for the last days of December 2023 or early 2024, following publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation.

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