A friend of mine had a dispute with his sponsor that ended quite badly with the sponsor swearing vengeance and lodging a “runaway” complaint with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
Inevitably, they did patch up, resolve their work-related issues and settle down. However, this process took just over a month and now the sponsor, thanks to an LMRA ruling, cannot revoke his complaint!
My friend will now have to leave the country and will be blacklisted! Can this be true? Can a sponsor and employee be given just one month to resolve their issues?
This seems absurd and unbelievable. Please clarify and shed some light on the issue.
l An LMRA spokesman said: “The LMRA does not interfere with the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence processes and as such we cannot comment on the so-called blacklist, if any.
“We no longer use or advocate the term ‘runaway’ as it is not correct.
“Based on the relationship between an employer and an employee, we call this issue: ‘absconding from work without reason, notification or authorisation’.
“Once an employee has absconded from work without authorisation or leave for 15 consecutive work days, the employer has the right to report the case to the LMRA.
“We will then investigate the matter and try to communicate with the employee who in turn is given 30 more days to come forward, get his part of the story heard by our enforcement department and debate/clear the matter.
“If there is any evidence that the employee did not abscond from work, or was absent for a specific and justified reason (example: leave, sickness, resignation, termination, dispute with employer, non-payment of salary, complaint case at the Labour Ministry, etc) the absconding report will be rejected.
“But if after 30 days, we have obtained a confirmation beyond doubt that the employee has absconded from work for no reason, his work permit will be cancelled, the employee in this case can no longer work in Bahrain legally.
“On the other hand, employers should never report anyone as absconding from work for any reason apart from actually ‘absconding from work’ for 15 consecutive days without notice or authorisation and only if the employee’s whereabouts became unknown to the employer and all real attempts to communicate with or locate the employee had failed.
“Employers are reminded that the ‘absconding’ reports are official government reports and that the falsification of such reports or their statements within, is illegal. LMRA would take serious legal action against offending employers by referring them to Public Prosecution.”