His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, today (October 5) announced a proposed set of new labour market reforms that will replace Flexi Permits.
The changes will increase protections for expatriate workers and streamline processes involved with registering for work or change of employment, reported BNA.
The new measures represent the next step in Bahrain’s strong track record of leading regional reform in this area. In 2017, Bahrain secured Tier-1 Status in the US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks it alongside countries such as France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany across a range of areas.
The reforms, which would be implemented by Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), include:
1.The establishment of new labour registration centres and an online registration portal to increase ease of worker registration
2.Guaranteed Labour Market Regulatory Authority representation for any disputes between employee and employer
3.New measures to link work permits to vocational and occupational standards to increase safety and protections in places of work
Under the reforms, which will be implemented by the Kingdom’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority, inspections to identify employers engaged in illegal activity will be increased to safeguard the rights of employers, workers, and the Kingdom's business community, said the BNA report.
The changes will also provide a more robust structure to allow employers to have greater flexibility to pay and source labour, driving growth of the private sector which sits at the heart of the Kingdom’s ongoing development, it added.