Bahrain to abolish sponsorship system


The move was announced by the Minister of Labour Dr Majeed bin Mohsen Al Alawi at a Press conference on Monday held to highlight the activation of a clause in the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) that treats expatriates on par with Bahraini by taking away the right of sponsors to stop their foreign workers from seeking better employment. 

The Minister said that the move comes to meet international labour standards and makes Bahrainis the first employment option for companies. “Many companies prefer expatriates because of their low salaries and not being able to shift jobs without no-objection letters from sponsors, but after imposing a levy of monthly BD10 for each foreign worker last year and the expected abolishing of sponsorship system, local manpower would have better chances.”

The Minister also revealed the imposing of ceiling of number of expatriates entering Bahrain annually and a cap on foreign workers that might be introduced after a study that would be launched soon. “We don’t want to jump to conclusion as the study’s findings would direct our course of actions, while something should be done for the every increasing number expatriates in the kingdom that reached almost half of population with more than 500,000 individuals out of 1.2 million,” the minister explained.

“The cap will also be restricted to work permits as visitors, businessmen and long time residents such as retired foreigners wouldn’t be affected.”

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