Tag Archives lmra

The abduction of the Bahraini businessperson

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LMRA BahrainI 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.
Khaleej Times

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.



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Do you want to see – in writing – what a bitchslap looks like? Of course you do, we’re all human and enjoy a bit of “entertainment”. Well, head over this morning’s Al-Wasat newspaper and read the Minister of Labour’s response to the Chamber of Commerce’s weedy objections to imposing the forthcoming labour fee. That, my friends, is a thing of beauty that I don’t think that the Chamber will awake from for some time to come.

وقال العلوي إن «المنجز الوطني الذي تحقق بخفض نسب البطالة في المملكة عبر البرنامج الوطني للتوظيف حظي برعاية من جلالة الملك ورئيس الوزراء وأفردت له موازنة مالية بمكرمة من لدن جلالة الملك، ولا ينبغي أن يتم تسخير هذا المنجز الوطني الذي منح البحرين مزيداً من الأمن الاجتماعي الذي بدوره ينعكس انتعاشاً اقتصادياً على جميع القطاعات لصالح التنصل من الالتزامات الوطنية تجاه المجتمع، بدلاً من أن تدعو الغرفة أعضاءها ليتولوا القيام بدورهم تجاه مجتمعهم ووطنهم بترسيخ هذا المنجز بالإسهام الفاعل بإعطاء المواطن الأفضلية في التوظيف. بل ولا ينبغي لأي كان أن يستثمر ارتفاع فائض الموازنة الحكومية والموارد المالية للحكومة بفعل ارتفاع أسعار النفط في اتجاه عدم فرض الرسوم الجديدة، وتجاهل أن الرسوم الجديدة لا ترقى بأيّ حال إلى مستوى رسوم العمالة الوافدة المقررة في أية دولة خليجية، في محاولة للتنصل من قيام القطاع التجاري بدوره تجاه مجتمعه».

I am impressed.

Why are they whining anyway? It’s a cost for God’s sake, and one that is applied evenly across the board; meaning that everyone will have this added cost so it is simply raising the floor a bit from which you add your margins. To go around and around and for so long about these charges is embarrassing for goodness’ sake. The only thing these objections do – considering that the Chamber is represented on the board of the Labour Reforms is further alienating the normal citizen from business people or even worse, entrenching the vision that we are simply vampires sucking the blood out of this society and giving nothing back.

What the Chamber should do is inspire more people to come into the business field, or at worst just work on attracting more members from the very same business community it purports to protect into their rolls. Did anyone ask for instance how many people are actually paid-up members in the Chamber for it to purport to represent the business community? I know that it is a very small percentage and although plans are in place to increase the membership, this should be its top priority rather than continuously unjustly complain about how much of a bad deal we’ve got.

This is embarrassing, it’s beginning to sound like the Chamber is nothing more than a nagging old hag. Get with the program and support the Labour Reforms initiative wholeheartedly. The money collected by them will only come to serve us in the near future by ensuring that Bahrainis get properly trained and employed. So what is there – legitimately – to complain about?