Working mums may get time off

WORKING mothers in the private sector could be given two hours off work daily to care for their children until they reach the age of two.

Parliament yesterday voted unanimously to amend the 2012 Private Sector Employment Law despite the government insisting that it could harm the chances of women being employed in the private sector.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has also expressed its opposition to the amendment which, however, has been backed by the Supreme Council for Women, Bahrain’s two trade unions and the Bahrain Women Association for Human Development.

The current rule gives working mums two hours off daily for up to six months and an hour up to a year.

Ministry inspections and vocational safety director Mustafa Al Shaikh said the ministry was not against the concept, but MPs had to realise the financial and administrative implications for the private sector.

He also said giving more time off to women would make them less appealing to employ even if they were more capable.

Dr Abdulla Al Thawadi said MPs were not trying to introduce anything new, just extending the concession for a year more.

“The new rule will attract more women to the private sector as they would be in line with the others working for the government,” he said.

However, Bassem Al Malki said greedy businesses were the reason labour rights were not progressing in Bahrain.

“The BCCI has not changed its stand against more labour rights as it continues to think about profitability and making more money,” he said.

“We want more women to be drawn to the private sector and this will happen only if they have the same rights as the civil servants.”

Ebrahim Al Nefaei said with remote working these days due to Covid-19, women can work as well as take care of their children.

Fatima Al Qatari, who originally proposed the amendment, said more equal rights should be on the way following this.

“The government is trying to promote jobs in the private sector, while there is a stand against equal rights compared to those working in the government,” she said.

“This is just one of many moves to make the private sector more appealing and there are more ideas on the way.”

Bahrain Bloc president Ahmed Al Salloom, who is also a BCCI board member, said those privileges needed to be supported through government financial support.

“No one is against more rights for women, but this means higher costs and they need to be covered through government funding.”

The amended law will now be reviewed by the Shura Council.




Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Listen to 'Radio FCCIB' Videos & Podcast

Radio FCCIB is the new program launched by the French Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Bahrain, asking 3 questions to its members