The highlighted incentives of the newly formed Safe and Healthy Work Environments (ELSSA) agency, created to advance and preserve the health of employees, has attracted the voluntary conscription of 165 companies since its launch a week ago. Fostering a preventive health workplace culture stands to add at least three points to the national GDP, says Zoé Robledo, General Director, Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS).
In a tightening labor market, companies are exploring and considering all available initiatives to foster retention. For ELSSA, retention starts with preventive healthcare, a socially curative approach in which companies share a responsibility, according to the IMSS agency. To incite their participation, the program outlined a total of eleven incentives that include reduced medical costs, lower rates of absenteeism and greater talent retention. Companies will also be able to rely on compliance and consultancy support regarding NOM-035 and other requirements from the Ministry of Labor (STPS).
Pivotal to their push, the agency highlighted pre-pandemic data from 2019, which tied 1,300 cases of occupational diseases to more than 50,000 non-worked days. The study also linked over 165,000 work accidents to more than 4 million non-worked days. According to Robledo, companies likely paid a premium of 15 percent on top of their labor costs as a result, incurring losses that equal 3.7 GDP. If unaddressed, rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are likely to keep inflating at the detriment of the workforce that sustains the economy.
The data and the resources provided by the program persuaded 165 companies, representing 72,787 employees, to enroll in the voluntary program operating in 30 states. With this the agency has initiated a pivotal shift towards health prevention that could potentially prevent 10 million work-related accidents or chronic diseases. To achieve this goal, the agency is deferring to the voluntary participation of private companies, which on their end are being driven to participate out of self-interest to continue growing amid a market marked by talent scarcity.