Dear Clients and Friends,
We inform you that the Technical Council of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (“IMSS”, for its acronym in Spanish) approved the online contingency disability process of COVID-19. Under this new process, the person with symptoms of the disease must complete a screening questionnaire on the website of such Institute to know whether the special permission is appropriate.
To simplify the process of disability for people affiliated with the IMSS who present symptoms of the COVID-19 disease, it was approved to obtain a special contingency disability certificate from remote digital platforms. In this way, healthy distance is maintained and the worker is relieved from visiting a Doctor, using a car or public transportation, being in contact with other people or going to the bank to collect its social security subsidy payment.
Under this process the IMSS states that the employees who have signs of the infection such as cough, fever and headache, must stay at home without going to the doctor to obtain their disability certification, and that also the economic employee´s subsidy is guaranteed for the first 14 days, which is the usual term for the minor disease pattern of Covid-19. However, we consider that the disability subsidy payment by the Social security should only be for 11th. days, because the first three days of disability are not covered since the temporary disability derives from a general illness according to article 96 of the Social Security Law.
It is important to establish that when the worker has a general illness not derived from work, the employment relationship is suspended, and the employer is not obliged to pay the worker’s wages and other benefits. The suspension of the employment relationship takes effect from the time the employer becomes aware of the illness or the date the IMSS issues the disability certificate for work, until the end of the period set by the IMSS or earlier if the disability for work disappears pursuant to articles 42, section II and 43 section I of the Federal Labor Law.
Under this COVID-19 disability electronic process, once the employee completes the form and sends it via electronically, the company is notified by the IMSS, but the employee is also asked to notify such disability to the company. The insured employee will also be contacted by the IMSS to verify his bank account so the deposit for 11 days of salary can be made.
Additionally, the IMSS will ship protective equipment to the employee’s home by courier so that family members are not infected. Thus, the IMSS is contributing to the protection of the employee so that he does not lose his job due to having symptoms and has financial compensation for illness, and is subrogating the obligation to pay wages.
We believe that this new process may give companies financial aid for not having to incur in the payment of wages during the 14th. day period in which the infected employee stays home if they are properly covered by the IMSS certificate of disability.
It is also important that human resources monitors the number of certificates that are issued under this new process, which may be subject to abuse by workers, so it is necessary to raise awareness so that this does not occur.
Finally, it is important that we follow up on the medical cases that presume a COVID-19 condition so it is not considered a work related illness, particularly in such cases where the employee states having the symptoms during his work in the company´s premises, which could lead to the increase of the social security quotas paid by the employer for an increase of its work-risk factor.
As always, you can contact us for any doubt you may have.