Mexican employers running businesses of all sizes are now legally obliged to provide attention to staff exhibiting symptoms of work-related stress or anxiety following the introduction of a new Official Mexican Standard or Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) this week.
According to the World Health Organization, Mexico has one of the highest rates of work-related stress in the world, even higher than China and the United States.
NOM 035-STPS-2018 obliges employers to take appropriate steps when employees indicate that they are able to cope with the demands of their jobs. Systems should be in place to respond to any individual concerns. Businesses that fail to respond to situations may face fines up to 500,000 pesos.
Various factors contribute to the high levels of work-related stress in Mexico, experts say.
Mexicans work more hours per year – 2,257 – than citizens of any other country enrolled in the 36-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (The international average is 1,759.) In addition, 58 percent of employees in Mexico spend between 30 minutes and two hours a day traveling to and from their place of work, according to Mexico’s Statistics Institute (Inegi).
Inegi estimates that 75 percent of Mexicans suffer from some kind of stress or anxiety related to their work.