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Bahrain extends the validity of visit visas for expatriates automatically and free of charge for three months.

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Several areas in Kuwait are under lockdown, leaving many migrants without access to food. Government SMS messages that are sent several times a day tell people about places where they can pick up goods,  but seem to lead nowhere.

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In light of the arrest of 7 individuals accused of helping domestic workers escape their employers, Qatari officials should look into why workers seek to leave their employer’s households, including the conditions that push them to take such risky decisions.

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Bahrain’s Ministry of Labour has issued a circular for employers and workers in the private sector regarding combating the spread of COVID-19 at workplaces and labour camps in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases among migrants.

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Bahrain announced plans to relocate migrants in high-density areas to public facilities, such as schools and youth centres, to achieve social distancing.

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Many domestic workers in Kuwait are leaving their employer’s homes due to unbearable workloads. The government shelter is reportedly refusing to receive them because they have not been reported as “absconding” (a runaway).

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Bahrain announces amnesty for irregular migrants from now through December 31, 2020 and cuts in Flexi-Permit fees.

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Over 800 workers, including around 60 women, employed or recruited by Sea Bird Supermarket have been left stranded for more than a month in Dubai. All of them have paid between AED1000 and AED3000 in hefty recruitment fees to their employer.

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Construction work continues across the GCC, despite concerns about community transmission.

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The UAE passed a Ministerial Resolution addressing concerns of employment and job security in the private sector. Companies affected by COVID-19 could ‘reorganize the work structure’ through a 5-step process.

These measures apply only to ‘non-citizen’ employees – a discrimination that renders migrant workers (of all income brackets) as completely dispensable. Nearly 89% of UAE’s 9.7 million population are non-citizens.

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Qatar earmarks  QR 3 billion to ensure workers & rent on business premises such as labour accommodations are paid.

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Kuwait has announced an amnesty for irregular migrants between April 1 and April 30.  Migrants who have overstayed their visas or are otherwise undocumented will be allowed to leave the country without paying fines and will be allowed re-entry in the future. Only select migrants are eligible to regularise their stay by paying a fine.

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The Philippines has lifted a ban on deployment of domestic workers to Kuwait following an agreement on a Standard Work Contract for Filipino domestic workers.

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Kuwait’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs issued an order prohibiting the issuance of new licenses to expatriate students and nurses in a bid to “solve the problem of traffic congestion.”

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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.

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Qatar passed a law today abolishing the exit permit for the majority of workers in Qatar. The most significant inclusion is domestic workers, who are not covered under the labour law, but under Law No. 15 of 2017 on domestic workers.

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