Nurses exempted from sponsorship

By SOMAN BABY

NURSES working in private hospitals have also been exempted from the government’s new sponsorship rules, it was revealed yesterday.

This means they can continue under their husbands’ sponsorship while working for health institutions.

It comes after Labour Minister and Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) board chairman Dr Majeed Al Alawi announced exemptions for private school teachers from new sponsorship rules for at least one year.

Under the LMRA rules, anyone working for a company or organisation must be sponsored by that organisation.

However, under previous rules, teachers approved by Education Ministry and nurses approved by Health Ministry were granted employment permits by the Labour Ministry, but were sponsored by their husbands.

“Though this is against new LMRA rules, which come into force on July 1, the LMRA board decided to allow the teachers and nurses to enjoy this facility for at least one more year because of practical reasons,” said Dr Al Alawi.

“The board decided that work permits of foreign wives, whether they are married to Bahrainis or non-Bahrainis, shall remain valid for another one year.

“The board studied the status of the work permits currently issued by the Labour Ministry for foreign wives married to Bahrainis or non-Bahrainis and locally employed in certain sectors – mainly educational and health institutions.”

The meeting also reviewed the situation of people who had lived in Bahrain for a long time, such as bakers, but did not finalise their status.

Dr Al Alawi said such issues were of utmost importance with social and humanitarian implications.

He also revealed that the board decided setting up a committee comprising representatives from the Economic Development Board (EDB), Interior Ministry and Central Informatics Organisation (CIO).

“The committee shall carry out comprehensive studies with regard to the treatment of the above-mentioned categories without violation of the Labour Regulation Act,” said Dr Al Alawi.

“The committee shall take into consideration all legal and social impact of the issues.

“Schools and hospitals shall not in any way suffer from disorder or confusion.”

The committee will make recommendations on nurses, teachers and other workers’ categories within one year to the LMRA’s board of directors, said Dr Al Alawi. “Diligent and careful studies shall be done before passing any resolutions,” he added.

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