Employers may have to compulsorily transfer salaries of housemaids and unskilled workers directly into their bank accounts, according to a new plan by Bahrain’s labour watchdog.
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) was working on several projects for 2017, revealed chief executive Ausamah Al Absi.
“One of our future projects planned for next year is the mandatory deposit of salaries of domestic workers and semi-skilled workers in their bank accounts by their employers.
“No more giving out cash from now on.
“Depositing salaries in the bank accounts ensures transparency and fulfils contractual obligations.”
Speaking during the monthly meeting of the Bahrain India Society (BIS) at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Mr Al Absi said the plan will be implemented in 2018.
He also revealed that in future expatriate women may be able to sponsor their husbands as part of the new decisions.
The husband will be issued a two-year dependant visa based on the income of the expatriate woman and her job profile, among other parameters.
However, the husband on a dependant visa would not be allowed to take up employment.
“We are sure these moves, when taken in addition to the previously announced flexible work permits system, will reinforce the kingdom’s already bright reputation as a country that respects labour rights.”
Mr Al Absi pointed out that the flexible work permit scheme covers only illegal workers on record as of September 20 and not those who have fled from their sponsors.
BIS chairman Mohammed Dadabhai said Bahrain has once again taken the lead in workplace reforms by acknowledging the rights of expatriate women.
“The new system unlocks new potential and energy for Bahrain and will allow businesses to access new talent,” he said.
“This will further make businesses in Bahrain even more competitive.”