Bahrain’s Shura Council votes against a draft law that guarantees employers to pay workers on time
Bahrain’s Shura Council unanimously voted against a proposed amendment to the labour law that would guarantee employers to pay their workers on time and in full. The Council argued the proposal was “redundant” because of a decree that establishes a legal framework for the Wage Protection System (Decree no.(59) for the year 2018).
However, the decree lacks specificities on the mechanisms and procedures for the payment of wages or guarantee full and timely payment. In contrast, the proposed amendment explicitly states that employers are only legally discharged from their obligation for payment only after they complete transferal of all due wages to their employees’ account in one of the banks licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Shura Council member Dr. Mohamed Ali Hassan highlighted the difference between the proposed amendment with the previous decree in Sunday's parliamentary session:
“If we looked at the decree that was approved in 2018 no (59) and the new proposal there is one difference, and that is the “guarantee that workers receive their due wages without delay or diminution.” In reality, we find in Bahrain many companies or owners of businesses specifically, delay the wages of their workers for many months.”
Bahrain was expected to implement the Wage Protection System (WPS) by September 2019 after postponing it several times. The WPS is still in an experimental phase with larger companies and it has not been implemented on small and medium-sized enterprises that hire most of the migrant workers.