Bahrain set to revise minimum wages
Manama, July 6, 2012
Bahrain is considering major changes to the minimum wage system, hoping to scrap informal unified minimum wages in the private sector and replace them with salaries that would depend on people's job titles, said to a top government official.
The existing system states that Bahrainis should receive a minimum salary of BD400 ($1,061) for graduates and BD250 for non-graduates.
The changes are being spearheaded by the Labour Ministry in a bid to significantly cut unemployment rate, make jobs more appealing to Bahrainis and increase Bahrainisation levels in the private sector.
'The minimum wage plan is something that is being reviewed and we are hopeful an announcement will be made soon on this initiative,' said Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan during his monthly majlis yesterday at the ministry's headquarters in Isa Town.
'We will take into consideration the academic qualifications and based on this the minimum wage will be set.'
Humaidan stressed the importance of increasing the Bahrainisation quota as it reduces the unemployment rate and decreases dependence on foreign workers.
'The unemployment rate is about 3.8 per cent,' he added. 'Now we are focusing on the qualitative aspect of Bahrainisation, but in the future we shall include the quantitative.'
He said the ministry played a key role in reinstating sacked workers and it was now focusing on improving Bahrainisation, including increasing training programmes for Bahrainis to integrate them in the workforce.
The majlis was attended by businessmen, MPs, officials and representatives from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions.
They discussed a royal decree that places multiple unions under one organisation. Unionists claimed the move would divide workers, but supporters of the decree explained it would ensure trade unions were not monopolised.
'I have suggested forming a legal team within the ministry consisting of neutral members to study the case of multiple unions to deal with the issue,' responded Humaidan.
In March, the minister said they were revising the Bahrainisation quota in a number of sectors and a new percentage would be released based on the job and number of employees in each sector. – TradeArabia News Service