Call for check on ‘visiting agents’ in Bahrain


Many Bahraini employers and businesses are badly affected by the slow issuance of permits by the Ministry of Labour over the past months, he said.


Al Mahmeed said staff requirements were being dictated by the ministry which made it difficult for employers to hire foreign workers at the earliest.


“The demand is very high for skilled workers, labourers or housemaids. Businesses and individuals need them badly.


“But work permits rules are very stringent. The ministry is issuing permits but has set limits on the number,” he said.


Al Mahmeed said the authorities should also check on activities related to the recruitment of foreign workers. He said the procedures had become loose especially as both big and small companies had resorted to taking foreign workers on their own.
He said the practice of “direct hiring” could adversely affect many businesses.
“Agents arrive in Bahrain to scout companies in need of workers and then bring workers on their own. These agents are issued seven-day visas. They just come in and companies deal with them.


“Many companies have also resorted to hiring workers directly from other countries.
“But there could be problems because visiting agents do not have recruitment licences,” he said.


The society has some 30 manpower agencies as members. The membership has dwindled in the past two years as the government imposed restrictions on the operations of many agencies.


The Labour Market Regulatory Authority will process work permit from July.


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