Firms crippled by labour policies

First it was the Labour Ministry, with its weird policies that destroyed several small and medium size businesses in this country. Now it is the turn of the LMRA labour market to do the same.

Our company applied for 20 workers with the Labour Ministry along with all relevant documents showing jobs in hand etc, but they said they could give us work permits for only eight workers, that too if we hired about nine Bahrainis.

With eight workers, we could not carry out the project on time and hence, with great reluctance we cancelled the project. A huge loss for a Bahraini company. Now imagine also hiring nine Bahrainis who will do zero work and we pay them a minimum of BD200 per month. Where will this money come from? Already we are losing huge sums due to rises in the price of the raw material. Huge sums have to be paid to the LMRA too if they give permits.

We have now applied to the LMRA, but they have said we must clean the system before they will provide new permits. We have three workers on leave, who have still not registered with the LMRA. So we have to wait for their return. We are a company related to the construction industry and get orders almost once or twice every week. Are we expected to add new projects and submit forms every week to the LMRA?

Why doesn’t the LMRA give the required permits that a company is asking for?

Why should it decide how many people are required by a company?

At the slow speed with which the LMRA too is operating and the unnecessary rules in force, several businesses are going to close down, incurring heavy losses.

There is another problem in small private companies. Office staff are not being sent on vacation even after their contract period has expired and leave is due, until companies find replacements. From where does one find replacements, when there are no free visa workers around or when getting visas fro new recruitment is not easily possible.

So dads are staying back and sending only their families on vacation.

Why are the human rights organisations, who are busy protecting the rights of violent rioters, and criminals who are attacking the police and private property, ignoring genuine human right violations?

Please be assured the LMRA is not going to improve anything for Bahrain, but businesses are going to suffer, ending up paying huge sums to the LMRA, Gosi etc. Only a certain section of the Bahrain population is going to gain. Razak Khan.

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