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Weekly Roundups

Here are the Rules for Companies Returning to the Office

By MBN Staff | Thu, 04/29/2021 - 15:30

A year into the pandemic some companies in Mexico returned 20 percent of their staff to working on-site in their offices this Monday. On Friday last week, the Mexico City government green-lighted their return but announced that it is working to develop a permanent remote working program. The office reopening is part of the 'Reactivate without risk' program, which is expected to see between 200,000 and 500,000 people return to offices, Mexico City's Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum said in a press conference.

Companies that decide to send their staff back to the offices will be obliged to do weekly COVID-19 testing, either PCR or antigen testing, Eduardo Clark, Director of Digital Government at the Digital Agency for Public Innovation, said at the same conference. Sheinbaum stressed, however, that this permit is only for private sector companies. “Public offices remain in the condition they have been in for a year. We are still not open,” she said.

The following are the rules that companies have to comply with if they decide to send their staff back to the office:

  • Maximum capacity of 20 percent of personnel
  • Permanent use of masks
  • Set up a sanitary filter at the entrance, with hand sanitizer and a mat to disinfect shoes
  • People separated into different areas by partitions
  • Ongoing maintenance of air-conditioning systems or filters
  • Implementation of QR systems to track possible cases of contagion
  • Weekly application of COVID-19 tests

With remote working, Claudia Sheinbaum added that in Mexico City, weekly car and motorbike trips were reduced to 2.5 million, while public transport trips were reduced to 8.7 million per week. "Working from home seemed impossible before this crisis,” she said. “But after this year we have seen the great advantages. We are working to ensure that at least 20 percent of all office work, will continue to be done remotely.”

More news below:

  • Remote work became the new normal for many employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, making communication through webcams and microphones commonplace. This trend also allowed companies to be more open in their recruiting as they acknowledged that the best employee could be anywhere in the world. Remote schemes allow employees to work from wherever they are located, be it Acapulco, Ukraine or Colombia. “Remote work led to the implementation of more digitization. It has facilitated hiring processes. However, it is essential that companies avoid falling into non-compliance with local regulations,” explained in a webinar Juan Manuel Sotelo, People Success Director at Kueski. Read the full article here. 
  • Precarious jobs have recovered faster during the pandemic, in contrast to those that offer higher wages or better working conditions, reported this week the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY). According to the study, middle-income earners were the most affected segment of the population, and while some have regained their jobs, they have done so at lower wages. “This is a cause for concern because, if the trend continues, the polarization of the Mexican labor market will deepen,” said Luis Monroy-Gómez-Franco, author of the study ‘Los Impactos Distributivos del COVID-19 en México’ (The Distributional Impacts of COVID-19 in Mexico). 
  • Initial jobless claims in the US fell for a third straight week to 553,000, their lowest level since the start of the crisis, at the end of the week ended on April 24, according to Labor Department figures released on Thursday. “This is the lowest level for this average since Mar. 14, 2020, when it was 225,500,” the department said.
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