COVID-19: Negative Effects OutlinedBy Cas Biekmann | Fri, 03/20/2020 - 16:25
COVID-19 cases are spreading around Mexico. With events cancelled or postponed, offices are starting to take precautions. Phase 2 of contingency means precautions and social distancing are needed to flatten the curve of infections so hospitals do not get overrun. Read about how offices are affected around the country here!
Home Office, Ideal Measure for Companies
Due to the way COVID-19 spreads, public transport and offices are risky environments. The average Mexican worker finds himself in both locations daily. Companies can avoid the spreading of the virus by encouraging people to work from home. Some early adapters such as Google already offered the possibility, keeping offices open for people who needed access. If you are looking to transition to home office, you can read some tips here.
One issue regarding Home Office is that there is no regulation for it in Mexico. It is not a new phenomenon, however. Reuters reported as early as 2012 that 30 percent of Mexicans often work from home. It is only a matter of time before the government asks companies to implement this measure, which are already enforced in countries like Colombia and Argentina. El Economista reports that without proper regulation, employees might be at risk of not having their over-time respected.
What will COVID19 Mean for Employment?
Mexico seems to be at risk regarding employment. The month of February, before news of the virus spread, was already marked by negative figures in terms of job creation: IMSS reported the lowest number of jobs created in seven years. With stock markets plummeting and offices looking emptier, the risk shifts toward reaching negative numbers.
Guy Ryder, Director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) warns that worldwide, the current epidemic could cost up to 25 million jobs. This worst-case scenario refers to a few million more job positions lost than in a financial crisis. The precise impact differs but even lower estimates predict 5 million jobs will be lost. Furthermore, by the end of 2020, losses for workers in terms of income are predicted between US$800 million up to US$3.4 billion, meaning less money will be spent with more disastrous effects to follow.
Nonetheless, ILO stresses that governments can take measures to protect workers from layoffs due to the virus. CATEM asked government and companies to remain calm. Its General Minister Pedro Haces Barba directed his words to both sides, asking for a national pact where everyone would do their part to keep workers employed.