EMPLOYER ACTION CODE: ACT
The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare has developed a new Standard (NOM-035-STPS-2018) on “Psychosocial Risk Factors at Work — Identification, Analysis and Prevention” that will require all employers to develop preventive internal policies. The factors are defined as those that cause severe stress and anxiety, affecting employees’ physical and mental wellbeing, including excessive workloads, dangerous/unsafe working conditions, long working hours, insufficient rest/recovery periods, negative relationships and violence in the workplace. Depending on the number of employees, requirements focus on the identification and mitigation of risk factors and employee support. Detailed reference guides and questionnaires are available to assist employers with identification, analysis and prevention policies.
The Standard will come into force over the next two years as follows, depending on the number of employees at each workplace:
- October 2019 — All companies (regardless of the number of employees) must establish and implement a written psychosocial risk prevention policy addressing, among other things, workplace violence and the promotion of healthy working environments. Employees must be informed of the policy, the risks identified — including any potential health implications — and planned risk mitigation measures. Employees subjected to severe traumatic work and workplace events should be identified and referred for medical support. Workplaces with 16 or more employees must adopt measures to prevent and control the risks identified and promote a favorable work environment.
- October 2020 — Workplaces with 16 or more employees must identify and analyze their progress in preventing psychosocial risk at least every two years, and make findings available to employees. Medical examinations and psychological evaluations must be supplied for all employees exposed to identified risks who exhibit symptoms of altered health. Employers must maintain records about risk mitigation measures adopted, including details on employees who have undergone medical treatment as a result of traumatic events. Workplaces with 51 or more employees must also evaluate the work environment at least every two years and make results available to employees. Records about evaluations and measures adopted must also be maintained.
Employers are encouraged to evaluate work practices, identify potential risks and identify employees whose health may have already been negatively affected. Work on developing a psychosocial risk prevention policy should begin so that it is established and implemented by the October 2019 effective date for all employers.