Health contingency COVID-19
From its appearance in the Chinese city of Wuhan, to its dispersion in several Asian countries, the spread of the new coronavirus discovered in China, has generated worldwide concern and Mexico is not the exception.
Below, we will mention relevant information about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. And its legal, administrative and accountant implications.
The Ministry of Public Education (SEP) announced the measures to be taken in schools derived from the COVID-19 virus. The head of the unit, Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, indicated that the Easter holidays will be brought forward, so that from March 20th the students will no longer go to the educational centers. Classes will resume on 20th April 2020.
As a result, on March 17th, 2020, in the course of the day various offices and authorities, such as the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, reported the suspensions of activities and legal terms until April 20th, 2020.
Later, as part of the COVID-19 prevention measures, other authorities were added, such as the Federal Court of Administrative Justice, which, through the General Plenary of the Superior Chamber, issued agreement SS/10/2020, in which the suspension of jurisdictional activities was determined from 18th March to 19th April of the current year.
For its part, the Council of the Federal Judiciary also announced various administrative measures stemming from the public health contingency by COVID-19.
Some of the most common doubts that have arisen in recent days regarding the current situation of COVID-19, are:
What should be done about labor relations?
What should employers and workers do?
What does the collective suspension of industrial relations entail?
How should workers’ wages be paid during collective suspension due to health contingency?
What about tax returns to be made in March and April?
LEGAL PROVISIONS AND OUR COMMENTS
By virtue of the above, through this document and according to your needs, we allow you to make known our opinion on LEGAL, ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
The suspension of the labor relations by COVID-19, are temporary causes of the obligations to render the service and to pay the salary, without responsibility for the worker and the employer. In cases where the competent authorities issue a health contingency statement, involving the suspension of work. This collective suspension of working relations does not require authorization from the Conciliation and Arbitration Board.
The employer must inform the workers in good time of the date of commencement of the suspension of the employment relationship and the tentative date for the resumption of activities at the workplace.
If the daily work is carried out remotely, remotely or by teleworking, the same work must be contracted for the same salary. However, if, by the nature of the activities contracted, it is not possible to carry out such activities in the above ways, in the event of suspension of employment relations, the employer is obliged to pay
En caso de que las labores cotidianas se realicen de forma remota, a distancia o por teletrabajo, al ser el mismo trabajo contratado se deberá cubrir el mismo sueldo. Sin embargo, si por la naturaleza de las actividades contratadas no es posible realizar dichas actividades en las formas señalas, en caso de haber suspensión de las relaciones laborales, el patrón se encuentra obligado a pagar to its workers a compensation equivalent to one day of the current general minimum wage for each day of suspension. In the event of a higher agreement, it is valid, since the Federal Labour Act refers to a minimum condition.
Once the health contingency is completed, workers will be obliged to resume work. If the workers do not come, they shall be subject to the provisions of Article 47 of the LFT, and in the event that the employer does not allow the workers to resume their activities, the provisions of Article 48 of the LFT shall apply.
EFFECTS OF THE SUSPENSION OF LABOUR RELATIONS
Workers remain part of the company, therefore, they should not be discharged from the IMSS, and work conditions that are not limited should be continued, such as: The place, form and date of payment. This means that wages must be covered in the manner indicated above, even before the suspension of activities due to the health contingency.
The duration of the suspension of activities due to the health contingency caused by the COVID-19 virus is considered as effective time, for the purposes of seniority, holidays and the Christmas bonus. Since the employee is not responsible for the suspension of the employment relationship.
As is well known, March and April are the months in which the Tax Administration Service (SAT), records a greater flow of people in its facilities with the purpose of that all the taxpayers (Natural Persons and Moral Persons) comply with the submission of their annual declaration, since the staff of this authority provide advice free of charge.
Which is why, given the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the Tax Administration Service reported that as of March 17th, On-site services in the Internet rooms of devolved administrations and tax service modules were temporarily suspended in their offices and until further notice.
In addition, it also reported that the services of generating and updating passwords, as well as the issuance of the Tax Status Report will be attended exclusively by appointment, which can be generated on its Internet portal.
In addition to the aforementioned and derived from the situation in the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and other factors, the Mexican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (IMCP) requested to the Tax Administration Service (SAT) extending the deadline for the 2019 Annual Declaration for legal persons, the deadline for which is 31th March, considering it necessary to enable companies to meet their tax obligations on time and in form, because it is taken into account that the situation makes it very likely that many taxpayers will not be able to submit their annual declaration on time and, for that reason, should they have an amount to pay, they would be presented out of time, generating accessories, update and surcharges.
So far, the SAT doesn’t envisage a change in the deadlines for taxpayers to submit their tax obligation for the COVID-19, however, it is expected to have a favorable response in the coming days.
For their part, administrative authorities such as IMSS and INFONAVIT, have not made express statements regarding the contingency by COVID-19.
However, the vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, Dolores Padierna, proposed that the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers (INFONAVIT), exempt the payment of workers’ duesemployers to companies and businesses that comply with an effective remote work plan during the health contingency to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The legislator considered that the measures announced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will have a negative economic impact, especially on those businesses and private sector companies that will see their income reduced with the reduction in the influx of clients, suppliers and consumers, therefore it is necessary to apply compensatory measures of an economic nature in order to mitigate the impacts of the health crisis.
For this reason, he considered it urgent that both the IMSS and INFONAVIT adopt a plan of exemption of payments of the workers’ and employers’ dues for the months of March and April 2020 to those companies that present before both instances an effective plan of telework.
Dolores Padierna explained that the adoption of the distance work programmes will be the responsibility of the companies, which should only inform both the IMSS and INFONAVIT of the number of employees who will be integrated into these plans, as well as its temporality and the benefits to be derived.
Finally, in view of the events taking place in the legal, accounting and administrative field in our country by COVID-19, it is extremely important to mention that the Firm has years of experience in these areas; so, we are at your disposal for any doubt or clarification, if deemed necessary.