Expand rights of independent workers

Martha Martínez and Claudia Salazar / Reform Agency

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 | 23:23

Mexico City.- The plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies approved a reform that expands the rights of independent workers who decide to register voluntarily with Social Security.

The opinion unanimously approved, with 476 votes in favor, modifies Article 5A of the Social Security Law to incorporate independent or self-employed workers, which it defines as natural persons who are not subject to a subordinate employment relationship regulated by the Federal Labor Law, as well as workers in family industries, ejidatarios, community members, settlers and small owners.

In addition, it makes payment options more flexible, to allow the frequency of payment to be determined by the insured, in order to make access to the right to social security affordable.

“The subjects of insurance included in this chapter will quote monthly, bimonthly, semiannually or annually in advance at the choice of the insured”, it indicates.

This assumption, it adds, will be applicable regardless of whether a person could contribute simultaneously as an independent or self-employed worker and as a worker subject to a subordinate personal relationship.

In supporting the opinion, the Morenista Ivonne Cisneros said that the reform guarantees that independent workers not subject to a subordinate relationship have the coverage of the five insurances that the IMSS grants to its beneficiaries.

Among them, the risk of work, disability and life, retirement, unemployment, old age and old age and childcare insurance and social benefits.

He explained that the initiative considered the successful results of the pilot test of the simplified scheme for the voluntary incorporation into the mandatory Social Security regime of independent workers agreed since 2020 by the Technical Council of the Institute.

He explained that according to these, as of August 2022, 42,624 independent workers had joined through this modality, of which 60 percent are men and of that total, more than four thousand had no prior employment history.

The legislator trusted that with the proposal, a significant percentage of the 13 million people who, according to the INE, are not subject to an employment relationship, paid subordinate work or are classified as independent or self-employed workers will gradually be incorporated.

Genoveva Huerta, a PAN member, indicated that one in four workers in the country are self-employed, which represents 22.6 percent of the employed population.

He indicated that the so-called mandatory regime provided for in the Social Security Law is the most guaranteeing, but its benefits are limited to the existence of an employment relationship with an employer, which leaves out the unemployed, the unpaid and workers on their own.

He affirmed that the approved reform guarantees that any Mexican, whether or not they have a permanent source of work, can enjoy not only medical attention, but also other benefits provided by Social Security.

Among them, he detailed, nurseries, disability, disability pension, retirement savings and housing offered by the IMSS.

The reform was sent to the Senate for its constitutional effects.

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