Council vetoes pay rise law
Manama, April 14, 2009
Bahrain's Shura Council yesterday (April 13) blocked a law that would have granted civil servants automatic promotion after completing a year in their jobs.
The government-drafted bill, based on a parliamentary proposal, requested employees be allowed to move one step up in their pay grade annually and then two per year after they had completed five years in the job.
However, it stated, if they reached the maximum level that their position allowed, they would then be moved to the next promoted position.
The bill was approved by parliament in February, despite warnings by the Civil Service Bureau that it was unfair and would create chaos.
Council legislative and legal chairman Mohammed Al Halwachi said that the bill was taking the government in the wrong direction.
"Instead of having more productive employees who are keen to develop and grow, we will end up with lazy employees, who get promoted just because they complete a year in their post," he said.
"I believe that a grade's promotion is being given after two years in the same rank, but having it annually would mean that employees would get promoted without having to prove anything or their work being properly assessed."
Al Halwachi said that another problem was that if the employees reached the end of their position, the law states they have to be moved to the next promoted post.
"This means that we could end up with two employees in the same position. This creates confusion and problems at the work place, since workers would be divided over whom to follow or listen to," he said.
"We will have two people fighting for supremacy rather than have people working for the interest of the work place."
Meanwhile, councillors backed parliament's decision to reject a government-drafted bill to oblige the government to take expatriate employees' fingerprints as they reach the airport.
The decision came after they heard that the government has already started using a different system to take count of employees entering the country and shifting to a new system would cost the government huge amounts of money. – TradeArabia News Service