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Fri 27 Feb 2009 08:35 AM

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Child care plan for Bahrain women employees scrapped

Gov't steps in to kill proposal to give all new mums two years off unpaid.

A plan encouraging Bahraini women employees to take two years off after giving birth has been scrapped amid claims the rule would make them unemployable.

Bahrain's government stepped in on Thursday to persuade MPs to drop a demand for two years' unpaid child-care leave for mothers working in the private sector.

Women already constitute 85 per cent of the nation's unemployed and the proposal could prove disastrous, Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi said in comments published by Gulf Daily News on Friday.

Employers would turn their backs on women recruits if they were forced to allow them two years off every time they had a child, he added.

MPs threw out the proposed amendment to the Labour Law, but agreed to increase paid maternity leave for private sector employees to 60 days, plus six months unpaid if they choose to take it.

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