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Bahrain to scrap sponsorship system on Aug 1

Manama, May 14, 2009

Bahrain will make regional history on August 1 by scrapping the sponsorship system, said Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi.

The Minister revealed the date after attending a multi-party meeting convened by Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) chairman Dr Essam Fakhro.

The new-look law governing work contracts will be subjected to periodic assessment to evaluate its viability.

Amendments will be made should the law prove detrimental to bosses and workers.

Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa and officials representing Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) also attended.

A quartet committee was also set up to study the new contract terms allowing expatriate workers to swap jobs and table feedback proposals.

It includes the Labour Ministry, BCCI, the LMRA and the GFBTU.

The panel will also be entitled to suggest conditions to be included to the criteria adopted by the LMRA for approving workers' applications to swap jobs.

However, the committee's proposals shall not contradict Article 25 of law 19 for 2006 on regulating the labour market.

The panel will also undertake a periodic impact assessment of the law once the sponsorship system is rolled back.

'The BCCI wants the project to forge ahead as planned without encroaching on businessmen's interests,' Dr Fakhro said.

He reiterated businessmen's keenness to ensure the scheme achieves its goals and meets the interests of all parties.

The positive atmosphere at the multi-party meeting was also praised.

Dr Al Alawi also outlined plans to ensure balance in implementing the law and avert any fallout on bosses or workers.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Jobs | labour laws | sponsorship system |

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