The new Labour Law includes many gains and advantages for private sector employees and will help create a better investment environment in Bahrain, Minister of Labour Jameel Humaidan said yesterday.The new law also ensures that employers who violate the rights of their workers will be penalised. It also guarantees that employees get their rights. Labour cases will be considered by specialised labour courts.
Domestic workers for the first time will be getting annual leave, and contracts. They can also file cases against the employer if there are any contractual violations or abuse.
Female workers will get 60 days of maternity leave instead of 45 days. They will also be allowed to take a maximum of six months leave without pay to care for their children (under six years only). This though is limited three times during their period of employment.
Mr. Humaidan added that, “The new law includes many gains and advantages for employees of the sector such as connecting the benefits of this law to the ones in the civil service law. It additionally defines employees repayment in case of termination by employers, helping to create better investment environment which in turn offers many vacancies to the unemployed. The law also will help to avoid individual and group labour disputes.”
The minister explained the new law was issued due to several reasons beginning with the development and the changes that have occurred in the private sector and also the need to improve the previous Labour Law (No.23 for the year 1976). It also helped Bahrain stay in line with the Arabic and International Labour agreements which have come into effect internationally in the past 36 years.
The Kingdom aimed to adjust with the times and achieve higher levels and standards, he added.
The new Labour Law was also part of the reforms that His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had initiated, the minister said: “This is in addition to the directives of Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the continuous support of Crown Prince HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, which will result in the improvement of human development in the Labour market.”
Discrimination in wages related to sex, nationality, language, religion or beliefs was not allowed in the new law.
Additionally other provisions detailed restructuring of Labour inspections and occupational health and safety aspects, Mr. Humaidan said.