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The importance of occupational prevention, what are your obligations as a restaurant owner

Last July we gave an online talk about the main advice and recommendations on legal issues for restaurant owners, said talk was given by the Labor Relations Advisory Lawyer José Miguel Hernández Durán, head of the   SME Labor, office specialized in advising companies on labor issues in search of prevention.

Both on the day of the event and the subsequent days, we received communication from some of the participants making us see the relevance and importance of the issue due to the general ignorance that was had by the participating businessmen. That is why we have conducted an interview with the Lawyer José Miguel Hernández to reinforce the information that was provided in said talk, below we share the interview:

1.- In your experience, what are the main problems that a restaurant owner can face for not taking precautions in labor matters?

I consider that there are two main ones, one is the lack of a solid defense against a labor lawsuit, remember that in Mexico labor law by its nature is protectionist for the worker, which results in the employer having the burden of proving what is related to the employment relationship, if he did not take provisions in the relationship with his workers, he will lack the means to defend himself and will run the risk of being condemned to pay benefits outside the agreed upon, for example compensation based on a high salary (not agreed) .

The second is the imposition of a fine derived from non-compliance with the Law in an inspection ordered by a labor authority, said fines can be up to 5000 times the minimum wage in Mexico City or the current unit of measurement and updating, even for each worker.

2.- What do you consider to be the best practices that every restaurateur should follow to avoid labor disputes?

Prevention, almost always in our business we care more about numbers and we put aside the legal issue with our collaborators, this leads to problems in the long run, preventing and documenting correctly is the best practice to avoid conflicts.

3.- What elements are essential in the preparation of individual employment contracts?

All the elements established in article 25 of the Federal Labor Law are essential, however, it will emphasize in relation to the functions and activities that the worker will carry out, the position, schedule and salary, since the one that is in the contract makes it easy to prove them in court.

4.- What are the existing contracting modalities?

Work relationships can be for a specific job or time, seasonal or indefinite time and where appropriate may be subject to testing or initial training.

5.- Is there any obligation regarding the time allocated to training all employees?

One of the obligations we have as employers is to provide training to our workers, this must be documented through a training and training program (which must refer to a period of no more than two years) and the formation of a mixed commission among others.

Regarding your question, the time allocated will be the one that we schedule according to the needs of the company, for example, all premises must have fire extinguishers, the provider of this service can provide training to the business twice a year, so we can prepare a program and we will be complying with what the Law establishes.





6- Regarding the payment of salary and benefits, what are your recommendations?

The obligation of the employer in terms of payment does not stop only with delivering the cash or making the transfer to the worker, as we have already commented, the importance of the receipt is very high, because details such as the number of days paid, the payment concepts and deductions that it contemplates, the signature, among others, are vital before the need to occupy them to defend ourselves in a lawsuit, therefore not only must you have a receipt, but it must contain the correct information.

7.- What federal or state authority can carry out inspections or audits?

The labor authorities, through the local or federal Ministry of Labor, have the power to order inspections of companies to verify that they comply with the Federal Labor Law and with the Official Mexican Standards on safety and hygiene.

These inspections can consist, depending on the type of order, in the review of documentation such as contracts, payment receipts, training certificates, PTU receipts, interviews with workers, even tours of the company's facilities, to verify fire systems, facilities electrical, notices and signage, personal safety equipment, among many others.

The way in which the authority chooses to inspect a company can be randomly through a system or derived from a complaint (often anonymous) from a worker.

Any other advice or recommendation you want to add

I would like to invite our restaurant friends to adopt the culture of prevention, this by conducting a preventive labor review in their businesses, our firm provides specialized advice on labor relations, where through this service we not only detect possible breaches, but also We prepare the corresponding documentation so that the business is up to date with its employer obligations. (

We hope that this information can help you in your restaurant and that you can avoid later problems, remember that it will always be better to avoid conflicts through adequate prevention.