Workers taking rest during the first day of summer work ban
54 Bahrain firms 'violate' summer work ban
Manama, July 8, 2014
Legal action will be taken against 54 companies that violated the summer work ban in Bahrain in its first week.
They were among 3,077 organisations that were inspected by Labour Ministry teams since last Tuesday (July 1), said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain bans all outdoor work between midday and 4pm during July and August to protect the workforce from potentially fatal heat-related medical conditions.
"Inspectors recorded 126 workers from these 54 companies, and their employers were referred for further legal action," Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Dossary told the GDN.
"On the other hand, at the end of the first week, we have recorded a 98.2 per cent compliance with the law, which is highly appreciated.
"As we are aware, the ban now - with the new labour law in force since September 2012 - covers all sectors, unlike before, where it was limited to outdoor work sites.
"The ban is applicable to private houses as well and as we don't have the authority to inspect houses, we urge the public to notify incidents of that kind.
"We have had, in the past, incidents reported of domestic workers found cleaning windows during the ban hours, which is a violation of the law."
Al Dossary said employers of domestic workers would also face fines ranging between BD500 ($1,319) to BD1,000 - an increase from the previous fine of up to BD300.
"It is about the safety of workers and also these could lead to free visa issue, which again, is crime," he added.
He also reiterated that companies are required to ensure non-Muslim staff get refreshments in private during Ramadan - particularly those who risk dehydration by working outdoors as temperatures soar above 40C.
People are banned from eating and drinking in public during daylight hours in Bahrain.
"The weather is getting hotter unlike the first two days of Ramadan and irrespective of Muslim or non-Muslim, employees need to be protected from the heat," said Al Dossary.
"Ban of work between noon and 4pm and cabins for non-Muslims to have their food and drinks in outside sites must be ensured.
"Fines are the same for both violations - ranging between BD500 and BD1,000." - TradeArabia News Service