Bahraini ministry defends salary tax move



It also applies to expatriate workers who are searching for jobs between sponsors.

However, a growing number of labour unions have criticised the scheme, describing it as "unethical" and that it goes against Islam.

In a statement, the ministry said that the one per cent was the least percentage taken from anyone’s salary in countries that offer such schemes.

"We decided to adopt the scheme according to a study by an expert from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), who said that this will not have any effect on people," it said.

The ministry said that there was no objection from MPs when the law was presented to them and that they praised it in view of the benefits it would offer the unemployed.

"The one per cent deduction from employees’ salaries was not a part of MPs’ discussion then, they were only concerned that the government didn’t present them with the draft law.

"However, they understood our reasons and voted on the decree ratified by His Majesty King Hamad."

The ministry also stressed that all nationalities will benefit from the scheme.

The international labour laws ban any discrimination between nationals and expatriates, it said.

"The unemployment benefits will be given to expatriate workers within a grace period based on the number of days left in their contracts once they leave their sponsor to find employment elsewhere," said the ministry.

"Including expatriates in the scheme is beneficiary as their contributions will mean more money is raised, while the benefits they will be getting will be minimal, based on the unemployment period they are entitled to."

Some labour unions have maintained that they welcomed the move, but were against the way it had been implemented. They say their views should have been taken into consideration to make sure that all parties concerned were satisfied.


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