95pc of workplace disputes resolved

ALMOST 95 per cent of workplace disputes have been resolved since the start of the year reflecting stringent measures and co-operation from companies, according to a top official.

Several grievances were addressed as authorities engaged with the companies concerned, said Labour and Social Development Ministry Labour Affairs assistant under-secretary Ahmed Al Hayki.

“Bahrain is a leader in the region when it comes to having legislations that protect the right of workers from all fronts,” he said.

“We have engaged with companies to solve complaints regarding their workers and managed to resolve more than 95pc of these grievances.

“A total of 2,519 labour complaints were registered so far this year, of which 2,473 have been resolved.”

He was speaking during a webinar yesterday organised by the Foreign Ministry, chaired by Minister Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani and Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan, as part of the sixth consultations of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP).

It was aimed at engaging all stakeholders in formulating a strategy to protect social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights.

Yesterday’s session focused on labour rights in the human rights field and was attended by MPs, unionists and diplomats.

“Bahrain continues to have a distinguished status in the field of human rights and has a system in place that protects all expatriates,” said Dr Al Zayani in his opening remarks.

“Providing a decent work environment, ensuring stability and having a labour law that protects expatriates are the essence of our economy.”

He said functioning trade unions and having laws in line with international labour policies continue to be instrumental in dealing with alleged malpractices.

“Bahrain has always attracted workers from different countries who respectfully continue to contribute to the national economy,” he said.

Mr Humaidan said the government continues to promote Bahrainis as the top choice for employers and further provide them social cover via the unemployment insurance scheme.

“Bahrain values the human rights of citizens and expatriates without any discrimination,” he said.

“The kingdom further took the lead by providing free Covid-19 treatment to non-Bahrainis that resulted in stability of the labour market during these extraordinary times.”

He added that Bahrain’s “labour market model” is a shining example in the region and many countries can learn from its experience.

Meanwhile, International Organisation for Migration chief of mission (Bahrain) Mohamed El Zarkani praised the country’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

“Momentous efforts are already taking place in Bahrain with regard to combating human trafficking,” he said.

“In 2017, the government launched the flexi work permit that allows expatriates to sponsor themselves with more than 50,000 subscribers so far.”

He said in October a new system was launched to allow foreign workers to file labour complaints online and follow up on its progress, after an agreement was signed between the Labour Market Regulatory Authority and the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry.

“Authorities have regulated recruitment offices and even revoking licences of those who committed labour violations,” said Mr El Zarkani.

“Furthermore, Bahrain already laid the foundation for a comprehensive response against the pandemic, that included free medical coverage and an immigration amnesty (which ends on December 31) in the face of unprecedented job losses.”

Yesterday’s virtual meeting was attended by more than 100 participants and moderated by Assistant Foreign Minister Abdulla Al Doseri, who said the consultations will continue with different stakeholders to gather their feedback to prepare the NHRAP draft which will be submitted to the Cabinet.

“We are also ready to co-operate with the International Labour Organisation to learn and adopt the best work practices for all workers in Bahrain,” added Mr Al Doseri.

Bahrain is the first GCC country to work on a NHRAP.

Only five other Arab countries have a similar plan: Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq and Mauritania.


Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/897265/95pc-of-workplace-disputes-resolved


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