vacation leave pandemic
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Many people who are still in quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic say they are fed up with working from home because, unlike going to the office, the hours at home exceed the times established for the workplace. For them, it is time to ask for a vacation.

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We present six pros and consof asking for vacation leave during the pandemic:

1. You’re entitled to vacations

Just as we have rights as citizens, we also have them as workers. José Miguel Hernández Durán, Managing Partner, a legal firm specializing in labor law, explains that vacations are a right from the moment an employee has been working for a company for one year.

“It cannot be prohibited, nor suppressed. On the contrary, it’s a beneficial situation for companies because (by granting vacations) they are fulfilling an obligation,” says the lawyer.

After your first year of work, you are entitled to six days of vacation.

2. Peace of mind

Not everything is work. Mayté Barba, a professor at the Department of Management and Leadership at the Cuernavaca Campus of Tec de Monterrey, says that the integrated development of individuals requires space to encourage activities that they are passionate about.

“Vacations help us to disconnect completely, to recharge our batteries. Work is one area of our lives, but we have other areas that we need to develop, such as our spiritual, family, social, physical, and intellectual dimensions. We need to have fun, well-being, and to take care of ourselves,” says this academic.

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3. Help in times of a pandemic

Arleth Leal, Associate Director of Red Ring, a firm specializing in human resource solutions, says that for some companies, giving their workers vacations during quarantine has been a way to fulfil their obligation and prevent job cuts.

“People weren’t working in the tourism sector. So, the way to make sure people didn’t get fired was to send them on vacation. In this way, they were able to take overdue vacations and take them in advance,” says the specialist.

However, when it comes to employees who have been working from home, Leal says that some companies believe this is not the time to take a vacation.

“We are in a pandemic, but we’re also working. Companies must recognize that people need vacations. Just because I’m at home doesn’t mean I’m on vacation. I’m connected 24/7,” says Leal.

The specialist adds that this problem should be reviewed in order to avoid it becoming a bad practice in companies, “because whoever dares to ask for vacations is not well regarded,” she warns.

4. Still not safe to go out

Despite the gradual opening of some places such as shopping malls and other businesses, Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell reports that COVID-19 infections continue to break records in Mexico.

So, your vacation is likely to be unusual because you will be in lockdown. However, Barba offers several alternatives.

“I’m not going to do tasks that exhaust me or wash the things I haven’t washed. It’s time to pamper myself and my family,” says the academic, who proposes these activities:

  • Read something you are passionate about that is not related to work
  • Paint
  • Do exercise
  • Dance
  • Sing
  • Learn poetry
  • Play chess
  • Take photography classes

5. Risk of fines

If any company refuses to give an employee vacations, the consequence is a fine. Employees can request their vacations after working for the company for one year and they can be taken within the following six months.

“If this doesn’t happen, I still have a year to claim vacation pay. There are fines established by the federal labor law that range from 50 to 250 UMAs (Updated Measurement Units), which is from 3,000 to 18,000 pesos,” says Hernández.

In this matter, employers and employees must take into account that we are going through a pandemic with a large economic impact, so some companies do not have the funds to pay the vacation bonus, although that depends on individual cases.

6. Flight cancellations

If you had a vacation reservation during the first semester of the year, you probably suffered delays, cancellations, and an ordeal to recover your money.

Also, if it was a trip abroad, several countries closed their borders. Don’t worry. If you need a break, there are alternatives.

“If you can’t leave the country, some people have rented houses in nearby towns, which are surrounded by nature. Make sure the house is completely clean and disinfected. Just being there helps you connect with nature. Do a bit of exercise, walk and talk with your family,” says Barba.


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