Companies warned over 'Bahrainisation' violations

Employers who fail to follow the quotas for employing Bahraini nationals will be fined $800 per worker

Companies who fail to follow the Bahrainisation Law, which states that a Bahraini has to be hired for every four foreign workers, will be fined or have work permits revoked, reported local media.

According to The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), the move came following several companies allegedly misusing the law by keeping Bahrainis on payroll to secure work permits for foreigners and firing them afterwards.

Last month, The Cabinet issued a rule which came into effect yesterday to fine companies around $800 (BD300) for every violating foreign worker or have their permits revoked.

“The Parallel Elective System of Bahrainisation will begin to be implemented on the website. The LMRA, Labour and Social Development Ministry and the government have been working on Bahrainisation for 20 years,” said LMRA chief executive Ausamah Abdulla Al Absi.

He said that the law plays an important role in providing job opportunities to Bahraini citizens and that any necessary steps will be taken to combat the issue.

“Known locally as buying CPRs, there are people who just have Bahrainis on the cards in order to get permits for foreign workers. In the new law, it puts a price on those who do not abide by Bahrainisation to the letter and are fined,” he said, adding that the LMRA will stop renewing permits as of April 2017 if the quota is not adhered to and will take any necessary steps to tackles the problem.

“LMRA will take into account intentions – if an employer recently had a Bahraini quit and now were under the quota as a result, we will give them the opportunity to find and employ another Bahraini,” he said.

Al Absi said the fine will be reviewed every three months to “make sure it’s working.”

“The BD300 isn’t a holy number, we will look at the figure and review it every three months to make sure it’s working. If we feel like it’s not high enough, we’ll make it higher, and if we feel like it’s too harsh – which I don’t believe it is – we will decrease it,” he said.

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