Fewer Bahrainis ‘lost jobs despite Covid-19 crisis’

BAHRAINIS dismissed this year are by far fewer than last year despite the global challenges imposed by Covid-19 on the labour market, a senior labour official told MPs yesterday.

Labour and Social Development Ministry assistant under-secretary for labour affairs Ahmed Al Hayki said during the weekly session that the support packages by the government have helped achieve such unprecedented outcome with companies and businesses holding on to their Bahraini employees.

He said the ministry was working on further initiatives to help maintain that achievement and get more jobs for Bahrainis.

“The assurance I am making here is that the numbers of Bahrainis dismissed from their jobs is by far much fewer than in 2019,” said Mr Al Hayki.

“The quick government intervention through support packages has helped in this achievement, which we want maintained,” he said.

“There are more initiatives that we are working on to safeguard the Bahraini workforce and get more jobs.”

He was commenting as MPs unanimously approved two royal decrees issued by His Majesty King Hamad during recess to grant Covid-19 affected companies 50 per cent pay for Bahraini employees from July to September and October to December from the Unemployment Fund and referred them to the Shura Council.

The Parliament services committee also recommended the support package be extended from January to June to help companies cope as business returns to normal.

Twenty out of 35 government replies on urgent proposals by MPs were Covid-19 related.

An urgent proposal to further extend free electricity and water for Bahraini households from January until March has been postponed until next week’s session due to a stalemate on its inclusion.

The government had an across-the-board exemption from utility bills in accordance to last year’s usage from April to June before extending it twice from July to September and October to December for Bahraini households.

MPs also voted unanimously on ratifying the set-up law of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and referred it to the Shura Council.

Parliament also voted unanimously on amendments to the 2002 Fishing Organisation, Practise and Protection Law that would oblige the government to compensate fishermen should it reduce licences due to any circumstance and imposing tougher punishments on violations besides the use of banned equipment.

The government has asked MPs for a rethink.

It will be now reviewed by the Shura Council.

An urgent proposal to issue a statement on Bahraini sailors’ ordeal in Qatar and government moves to resolve the matter was also discussed.

The statement was later issued by Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal immediately after the session.

MP Dr Hisham Al Asheeri highlighted the plight of Dair sailor Habib Abbas who has been in Qatari jails for a long time without his family having any information.

The MP flashed his picture and requested the leadership to intervene with Ms Zainal asking him not to reveal further details to protect him.


Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/910978/Fewer-Bahrainis-%E2%80%98lost-jobs-despite-Covid-19-crisis%E2%80%99


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