Of every thousand domestic workers in Mexico, only three have enrolled in the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) through the pilot to give social security to this type of employee, five months after starting.
According to information obtained via transparency, a total of 6,631 were insured in August, or 0.3% of 2.2 million domestic workers in the country.
Read more: IMSS Pilot Program for Domestic Workers, at Risk if not Financially Viable
The highs have been increasing progressively since the program started last April. That month only 138 were recorded, while the last available data, in August, was 2,506 registered.
Although there are also those who have not continued on the program. In total, 8 thousand 71 workers had been discharged at some point, but 441 were discharged. This means that they have not tracked their payments 26%.
In the First Government Report, delivered to Congress on 1 September, all this data was omitted. Presidency reported only that in April and May they had granted 14,286 consultancies through 64 service modules in 23 states. There was no reference to the success or failure of these effective program advisories and advances.
This, despite the first balance of the pilot test piloted by the former director of the IMSS, Germán Martínez, who left the post in May.
Political Animal obtained a copy of the first report on this programme to be submitted to the IMSS Technical Council in June, when it was two months old. That document gave the first figures and found that almost 30% of affiliations were in the metropolitan area of the Valley of Mexico: 18.4% in Mexico City and 11% in the State of Mexico.
Then Tamaulipas followed, with 5.7%; Jalisco with 5.6% and Chihuahua, 5.4%. Nuevo León, Coahuila, Veracruz, Yucatan and Guanajuato completed the top 10 affiliations.
Other points identified in that report are that half of those registered are between 50 and 70 years of age, and eight out of ten are women. The average monthly salary recorded was 4,745 pesos per month.
The goal was 10 thousand by the end of the year
According to the body, the number of insured in these months is within what is expected. Although an affiliation goal was never publicly reported, IMSS Incorporation and Collection Director Norma Gabriela López Castañeda said in an interview with Political Animal that the goal was at the end of the year to reach 10 thousand members, and that by last Friday there were already 8 thousand 862.
In addition, he noted that those who have signed up since April with this pilot test were not the only ones. In an earlier scheme that was already in place, called “modality 34” and paid annually, there are 3 thousand 700 beneficiaries, although they are only provided with health services and not full benefits.
There are also about 20,000 registered in the Family Health Insurance program, which pays annually. Those who are in these two schemes will move on to the new one when the validity of their insurance expires, according to the IMSS official.
He added that by installing information modules in residential areas where families often have multiple home employees, they have found that many employers had them insured as workers of their companies.
For all this, he explained, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), there are about 24 thousand household employees who already had some kind of social security.
Although all of these, coupled with the new additions, still mean only 1.5% of workers in the household with social benefits.
Regarding the fact that 26% of those who have subsequently enrolled were discharged, the civil servant assured that this is even below the normal parameters of highs and lows among ordinary employees, which is usually around 30% variation each month.
“I think the scheme is working pretty well. The first reason is because it is simple, because we are not linking any other obligation to any other tax authority; that means that we don’t have the complication as if it were a normal pattern, that you had to process an individual employer record, that you had to register against the SAT,” he said.
“People are already starting to understand what the scheme is, however it also starts to give them uncertainty if this when it’s already final is going to be as simple as right now or we’re going to link some other obligations, and that’s what’s a little bit , I would tell you, stopping a higher affiliation. Although there is.”
IMSS fixes failures before making it mandatory
In the scheme with which the pilot was launched, the insurance is paid in a single monthly deposit in advance. This could complicate the situation for some workers with various employers, as reported Political Animal in August, because they depended on their employers agreeing or on each wanting to give each one their share of money so that she would pay for it all together.
According to the report with the first results of the program presented in June to the IMSS Technical Council, the employee with the most distinct patterns recorded was 12, while the pattern that discharged more workers sharpened five.
López Castañeda acknowledged that this is one of the flaws they are fixing.
“To completely transfer the responsibility of insurance to the employer, to allow the fraction of the payment depending on the days you work with each one. In that we are working, which allows, instead of being an advance monthly salary, that it is an advance payment, but depending on the days it actually works with each employer. That’s what the change is going to be in. And the purpose is that employers no longer care that they are linked or not linked. Everyone will be able to present it individually,” he said.
The operating rules with which the pilot began provided that this phase would last a maximum of 18 months (until October 2020), at the end of which its operation would be evaluated. Another clause stipulated that the program was subject to financially viable, which generated criticism of the lack of future certainty.
But according to the director of incorporation and collection of IMSS, this last point was already exceeded, thanks to the average salary with which they are being registered is above the minimum wage.
“The same parameters are being taken that are used for any other worker with respect to the minimum and maximum contribution limits, and the truth is that it does not have an impact. The positive data is that their contribution base is not the minimum wage, but they are above, close to 5 thousand pesos. So that doesn’t put additional financial pressure on Social Security, because we’re using the same financing mechanisms as any worker,” he said.
In addition, in December the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ruled that it was unconstitutional that there was no obligation to register domestic workers with social security, so Congress approved that the contract and benefits be mandatory for these employees.
With that background and lessons from the pilot, López Castañeda estimates that the result will be advanced and by January or February will be ready the reform initiative that will make the scheme of registration of domestic workers to the IMSS, to be discussed and approved at the next regular session.
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