I thought that come July 1st, Bahraini companies could hire and fire at will – well, within reason – and essentially hire whom they need to grow, rather than who are foisted upon them simply to make their quota with Bahraini workers. Well, I think I might have been mistaken:
Come July 1, employers in Bahrain would have to recruit two Bahrainis for each five expatriates or risk facing action, including termination or rejection of work permits.
The move under the Labour Market Regulatory Law focuses on empowering Bahrainis in the labour market through the implementation of an advance system that rejects work permits of companies that do not employ the required number of Bahraini workers.
The Executive Chairman of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), Ali Radhi, said that the law would also ban termination or suspension of services of Bahrainis without valid reasons.
What’s going on here? Where did all the talk of a “free labour market” go? Now employers have even more limits than the era before the LMRA? Or have I completely missed the plot here?
I understood that as long as you pay the LMRA imposed taxes, you could hire whomever you want! What the linked article suggests is contrary to that, in fact it goes even further in not only limiting the number of people you want to employ by paying the required fees, but you’ve got to do that AND hire 40% of your workforce as Bahrainis, regardless – it seems – of what they know and if you actually need them.