By Andy Sambidge
About 5,000 companies face being put on blacklist for hiring foreign workers.
More than 5,000 Bahrain-based companies could soon be fined for not paying fees to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
Fines will be introduced from Thursday for companies that continue to ignore the new fees and violators could also be blacklisted, meaning they will not be granted visas to hire additional foreign workers.
LMRA e-services manager and acting public relations manager Waheed Al Balushi said all labour transactions with such companies would be stopped.
"We issue 43,000 invoices every month. About 5,000 of them are not paying and they are not responding to our calls. Their details have been transferred to our inspection department for necessary action," he said in comments published by Gulf Daily News on Thursday.
Companies should pay 200 dinars ($530) for each two-year work visa they obtain for a foreigner plus 10 dinars every month for each expat worker on their books since the LMRA took charge of issuing visas in July.
They have been given a grace period of six months to start paying the fees and no punishments have been dished out for those who have not.
However, that grace period ended on Wednesday and Balushi said the LMRA would now take a tough approach to companies that fail to pay.