The dark side of outsourcing

National and international surveys, studies, and researches have shown that in Mexico, the rule of law is rarely enforced

The dark side of outsourcing
Outsourcing companies have taken advantage of Mexican workers - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 06/05/2019 09:19 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:29
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Enforcing law in Mexico is a complicated issue. National and international surveys, studies, and researches have shown that in the country, the rule of law, since previous administrations, is rarely enforced.

There are several examples of this. This newspaper investigated one in depth: companies that simulate being specialized in hiring personnel, break the law, and with that, they hurt the national finances and that of the workers'.

Outsourcing or subcontracting was included in the Mexican labor law a few years ago, keeping companies without experience in tax, labor, or social security matters in mind. The regulations allow companies to hire services from recruiting companies that provide human resources and at the same time, they fulfill the obligations established by the law, in regards to the company-employee relation.

A week official supervision has promoted the rise of companies that pretend to enforce the law. The Mexican Human Capital Association estimates that there are at least 900 companies that evade its legal obligations in regards to outsourcing.

The most common practice consists of not reporting the real salary of its workers to the authorities. They report that the worker perceives a lower salary in order to provide less money to the workers' IMSS and Infonavit funds.

Besides affecting public finances by not contributing the amounts established by the law, it also affects the worker's future, as their pension and housing credit will be less because of the salary those companies reported.

Currently, it is only possible for companies who hire a third party to verify if it is fulfilling its obligations to the workers; outsourcing firms notice deficiencies in the mechanism since it only informs if the outsourcing company is making the payments but it doesn't mention if it is properly reporting the worker's income.

The federal government will also have to ask workers to verify if their salary is correctly reported to the IMSS and Infonavit. Informative campaigns and technology tools are necessary.

There is a lot of money at stake, which is not going into the public coffers or into the worker's pockets, but to the bank accounts of companies that constantly break the law but are not punished. Yet another way to break the law.


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