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Bahrain Labour Law (Private Sector)

Labour Law

Official Gazette No. 3063 – Thursday, August 2, 2012

Law No. 36 of 2012

The promulgation of the labour law in the private sector We, Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, After perusal of the Constitution; The Civil and Commercial Procedure Law promulgated by virtue of Law No. 12 of 1971 as amended; The Labour Law in the private sector promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. 23 of 1976 as amended; The Social Insurance Law promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. 24 of 1976 as amended; The Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial matters promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. 14 of 1996 as amended by Law No. 13 of 2005; The Civil Code promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. 19 of 2001; The Law on Workers Trade Unions promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. 33 of 2002 as amended by virtue of Law No. 49 of 2006; Law No. 19 of 2006 on the organization of the labour market; Law No. 74 of 2006 on the welfare, rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities; Law No. 3 of 2008 on the General Authority for Social Insurance The State Council and the Council of Ministers enactedthe following law and we ratified it and promulgated it as follows:

Article 1

The Labour Law for the private sector hereto attached shall be implemented.

Article 2

The Ministerial decisions issued in implementation of the provisions of the Labour Law for the Private Sector promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No.23 of 1976 shall remain in force when not contrary to the provisions of the attached law, until the Minister in charge of labour-related matters in the private sector issues the necessary decisions for the implementation of its provisions within six month as of the date of its promulgation.

Article 3

Subject to the provision of Article 2 of this Law, the Labour Law for the Private Sector promulgated by virtue Decree Law No. 23 of 1976 shall be repealed in addition to any text violating the provisions of the Law hereto attached.

Article 4

The Prime Minister and the Ministers, each within their respective area of jurisdiction, shall implement the provisions of this Law which enters into force one month as of the date of its publication in the Official Gazette. King of Bahrain, Hamad Ben Issa Al Khalifa Promulgated in Rifa’a Palace On July 26, 2012

The Labour Law for the Private Sector

Title I Definitions and General Provisions Chapter I Definitions Article 1 For the purpose of implementation of this Law, the following terms and expressions shall have the meaning ascribed to them, unless otherwise required by the context:
  • The Ministry: The Ministry in charge of labour-related matters in the private sec
  • The Minister: The Minister in charge of labour-related matters in the private sec
  • The Worker: Every natural person working in return for a wage for an employer and under the latter’s management and supe
  • The Employer: Every natural person or legal entity employing one or more worker in return for a wage.
  • The Basic Wage: The remuneration specified in the labour contract paid to the worker on a periodical basis in additional to the possible increments if any.
  • The Wage: All what the worker receives in return for his work of any kind whatsoever, whether fixed or variable, in cash or in kind, including the basic wage and its accessories such as gratuities, allowances, grants,rewards, commissions, and other bene
  • The Labour contract: The agreement between an employer and a worker by virtue of which the worker undertakes to perform a specific work to the employer under the latter’s management and supervision and in return for a wage. The contract is deemed for a definite period if concluded for a definite period or for the completion of a specific wor
  • Labour Action: The action arising from the individual labour contrac
  • The Judge in charge of labour actions: any member of the Office in charge oflabour actions specified in Article 120 of this law.
  • Work Injury: This expression shall have the meaning specified in Article 4, paragraph 7 of the Social Insurance Law promulgated by virtue of Decree Law 24 of 1976.
  • The Notice Period: The period specified in Article 99,paragraph (a) of this La
  • Night: The period between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am.

Chapter II General Provisions

Article 2
  • The provisions of this Law shall not be applicable to civil servants and public legal entitiesthat are subject to the Civil or Military Service Regulations or to a special legal regulation governing the job re
  • Except for the provisions specified in Article 6, 19, 20, 21, 37, 38, 40, 48, 49, 58, 116, 183 and 185 and in Titles XII and XIII of this Law, the provisions of this law shall not be applicable to:
  1. Domestic servants and persons regarded as such, including agricultural workers, security house-guards, nannies, drivers and cooks performing their works for the employer or his family members;
  2. Members of the employer’s family effectively dependent on him, such as his husband, wife, ascendants and descenda

Article 3

The Gregorian calendar shall be retained for the calculation of the time-limits specified in this Law.

Article 4

Any condition or agreement in violation of the provisions of this Law shall be deemed null and void even ifits date precedes the date of enforcement of this Law, if it prejudices the rights of the workers specified in it. The better benefits or conditions, which are decided or to be decided by virtue of individual or collective labour contracts, labour regulations at the establishment or other, or by virtue of a custom shall remain applicable.

Article 5

Any conciliation implying a derogation or discharge fromthe worker’s rights arising from the labour contract during its validity period or within three month as of the date of its expiry shall be deemed null if contrary to the provisions of this Law.

Article 6

All labour-related actions instigated by workers or their heirs shall be exempted from the judicial fees. The Court shall order the party instigating the action to pay all or part of the expenses in case the action was rejected without prejudice to the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Code of Procedure. Moreover, the workers or their heirs shall be exempted from all of the fees on certificates and copies they request as well as on the complaints and claims they submit in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Article 7

The dissolution, liquidation, partial or total closing of the establishment, the downsizing of its activities or its bankruptcy shall not hinder the fulfillment of all of the obligations by virtue of the law. The merger of the establishment, its transfer by means of inheritance, will, donation, sale, even if through public auction, lease or other acts shall not entail termination of the labour contracts at the establishment. The successor shall be jointly liable with the previous employers for the fulfillment of all of the obligations arising from these contracts.

Article 8

The workers shall have the right to strike to defend their interests in accordance with the controls set forth by virtue of the law. The exercise by the worker of this right shall entail the suspension of the labour contract throughout the strike period.

Article 9

Every citizen capable of work and wishing to work shall submit a request to registerhis name at the Ministry or any of its affiliated centers, indicating his age, the time of submittal of the request, his qualifications, occupation and previous experiences if any. The Ministry shall record such requestsin a special register under serial numbers immediately following their submittal and shall issue to the party submitting the request a certificateto this effect, free of charge. The data to be included in the certificate mentioned in the previous paragraph shall be determined by virtue of the Minister’s decision. The Ministry, in cooperation and coordination with the concerned authorities shall take the appropriate procedures for employing the parties submitting these requests.

Article 10

The employer must provide his workers with appropriate means of transportations in the work regions, as determined by virtue of the Minister’s decision.

Article 11

The employer employing workers in regions far from urban regions as determined by virtue of the Minster’s decision must provide them with the appropriate meals and adequate accommodation. The Minister shall issue, after taking the opinion of the concerned ministries, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Confederation Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain, a decision determining the accommodation’sconditions and specifications and determining the types and quantities of food offered to the worker in each meal as well as the monetary allowance paid by the employer instead of said meals.

Article 12

The employer shall hand over to the worker a receipt with respect to all papers, certificates or tools deposited by the latter with him. The employer undertakes to return to the worker upon the termination of the labour contract all what the latter may have deposited with him, immediately upon his request.

Article 13

The employer shall give the worker – during the validity period of the labour contract or upon its termination and free of charge – a certificate including the requested data on the date of employment, the type of work performed, the wage and other benefits he obtained, his experience, occupational competency, and the date and reason for termination of the labour contract.

Article 14

The worker shall be deemed aware of any regulations, decisions, by-laws or other, which must be posted in an apparent location at the workplace by virtue of the law, if the employer handed over to the worker a copy thereof in return for the latter’s signature as an acknowledgment of receipt.

Title II Occupational Apprenticeship

Article 15 An occupational apprentice shall be deemed to be every person who concludes a contract with an employer for the purpose of learning a craft, occupation or industry for a definite period of time during which the apprentice shall work under the supervision or management of the employer in return for a compensation or wage. The Minister shall, after taking the opinion of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Confederation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain issue a decision determining the procedures and rules governing occupational apprenticeship.

Article 16

The contract of occupational apprenticeship shall be in writing in the Arabic language. It shall determine the learning period of the craft, occupation or industry, its successive stages and the graduated reward or wage of each stage, provided that said wage or reward in the final stagedoesnot fall below the amount fixed for similar work in the craft, occupation or industry subject to apprenticeship.

Article 17

The employer may terminate a contract of apprenticeship if he is satisfied that the apprentice is incompetent or not willing to learn the craft, occupation or industry in a proper manner. The apprentice may terminate the contract or any reason whatsoever. In all cases, the party wishing to terminate the contract shall notify the other party at least seven days before the determined date of termination.

Article 18

The provisions of Titles VII and VIII of this law shall apply to the apprentice.

Title III Individual Labour Contract

Article 19 The labour contract shall be made in writing in the Arabic language in two copies; each party shall receive a copy. If drafted in a foreign language, a translated version shall be attached. If the contract includes references to by-laws, said by-laws shall be attached to the labour contract and signed by the parties and retained as evidence. In cased of inexistence of a written labour contract, the worker may solely prove all of his rights through all means of proof.

Article 20

The labour contract shall include the essential data of the parties, in particular the following data: 1- The employer’s name, the address of the workplace and the trade register number;
  • The worker’s name, his date of birth, qualifications, job or occupation, residential
address, nationality and the necessary personal identification documents;
  • The nature, type and duration of the contract if for a definite period;
  • The wage agreed upon, method and time of payment, and all of the benefits in cash or in kind agreed upon;
  • The other data determined by virtue of the Minister’s dec

Article 21

  1. The worker may be employed under a probation period if expressly specified in the labour contract, provided said period does not exceed three
Nevertheless, the probation period may be increased in the occupations to be determined by virtue of the Minister’s decision, provided said period does not exceed six month. The probation condition shall only be retained if expressly specified in the labour contract.
  1. Either party may terminate a labour contract during the probation period if said party finds that its continuance is not appropriate, provided that the party terminating the contract notifies the other party at least one day before the date of terminat
  1. The same employer shall employ no worker under probation more than once.

Article 22

The employer may not depart from the conditions agreed upon in the individual or collective labour contract or entrust the worker with a work not agreed upon unless necessary in order to prevent the occurrence of an accident, for the remedy of any act made by said worker or in case of force majeure, provided this is temporary. The employer may entrust the worker with a work not agreed upon if said work is not essentially different from his initial work and provided the worker’s rights are not prejudiced. The employer may train the worker and qualify him to execute a work different from the work agreed upon in line with the technological development at the establishment provided the competent Ministry and the concerned trade union are notified.

Title IV Employment of minors

Article 23 For the purpose of implementation of the provisions of this Law, a minor shall be every person who is of fifteen years of age but who has not yet attained the age of eighteen years.

Article 24

It shall be prohibited to employ any minor who has not yet attained the age of fifteen years.

Article 25

Minors shall not be employed effectively for a period exceeding six hours a day. They shall not be permitted to remain in the workplaces for more than seven consecutive hours. The working hours shall be interrupted by one or more intervals, the total of which shall be not less than one hour for rest and a meal. Such interval or intervals shall be so arranged in such a way as a minor shall not work for more than four consecutive hours.

Article 26

Minors shall not be employed during the night period or on weekly rest days or official holidays.

Article 27

a- The employer, shall prior to the employment of any minor, verify:
  • That thecustodian or guardian approve the minor’s employment;
  • That the minor has undergone a medical examination to ascertain his physical fitness to exercise the work;
  • That the minor is not employed in hazardous or dangerous worksor works endangering his health or ethical behavior;
  • That the Ministry is notified all of the data related to the minor. b- An employer shall, following the employment of the minor:
  1. Post in an apparent location at the workplace a copy of the provisions on the employment of minors specified in this Title and a declaration retained by the Ministry on the determination of the working hours, the rest periods and weekly rest dates;
  1. Draft a statement clarifying the names of minors working for him, their age, the works entrusted to them and the date of their employment;
  1. Subject the minor to a periodical medical examination to verify his physical fitness on the dates set by virtue of the Minister’s decision following consultation with the employers and workers’ representative

Article 28

Subject to the provisions of this Title, the Minister shall issue a decision determining any other conditions, cases or circumstances governing the employment of minor, and determining the occupations, industries and arduous and hazardous works in which minors may not be employed or which may be harmful to their health, safety or ethical behavior in accordance with the various age stages. These occupations shall be re-examined periodically orwhen necessary.

Title V Employment of women

Article 29 Subject to the provisions of this Title, female workers shall be subject to all of the provisions governing the employment of male workers without discrimination in similar situations.

Article 30

The Minister shall issue a decision determining the cases, works and occasions in which women may not be employed at night.

Article 31

The Minister shall issue, after taking the opinion of the concerned authorities, a decision determining the works in which the employment of women is prohibited.

Article 32

  • A female worker shall be entitled to a maternity leave on full pay for sixty days including the period before and after delivery provided she produces a medical certificate retained by one of the governmental health centers or one of the clinics retained by the employer, indicating the expected delivery da
The female worker may obtain an unpaid maternity leave for fifteen days in addition to the abovementioned leave.
  • The female worker shall not be employed during the forty days following the delivery. In case said female worker works for another employer during the maternity leave, she shall be subject to the provisions of Article 62 of this la

Article 33

The employer shall not dismiss or terminate the labour contract of the female worker as a result of her marriage or during her maternity leave.

Article 34

The female worker shall be entitled to an unpaid leave for taking care of her child not exceeding six years of age, of maximum six month each time and for three times throughout the period of her service.

Article 35

The female worker shall be entitled after the end of her maternity leave and until her child reaches six month of age to two breastfeeding periods of not less than one hour each. The female worker shall also be entitled to two period of half an hour to provide care for her child each until her child reaches one year of age. The female worker shall be entitled to join these two periods and these two additional periods shall be deemed part of the working hours and shall not entail any wage deduction. The employer shall determine the timing of the abovementioned period the female worker takes to provide care for her child in accordance with the female worker’s circumstances and the interest of the work.

Article 36

The employer employing women shall post in an apparent location at the workplaces or in the places of gathering of workers a copy of the regulations governing the employment of female workers.

Title VI Wages

Article 37 The worker’s wage shall be determined in accordance with the individual or collective labour contract or the work regulations at the establishment. In case the wage is not determined in such manners,the worker shall be entitled to a wage calculated for the work performed of the same nature if any. Where no such wage exists, it shall be calculated in accordance with the business practiceretained in the occupation in the relevant sector. If no such practices exist, the competent court shall estimate the wage due to the worker in accordance with the requirements ofequity. This method shall be retained in determining the type of the service to be performed by the worker.

Article 38

Wages may be calculated by the hour, day, week, month, on a piece-rate or per production. Wages shall not be deemed to be calculated on a piece-work or production basis unless expressly specified in the labour contract.

Article 39

Discrimination in wages based on sex, origin, language, religion or ideology shall be prohibited.

Article 40

  • Wages and other amounts due to the worker shall be paid in the Bahraini currency and an agreement may be concluded for their payment in a legal tender currency;
  • Wages shall be paid on one of the working days at the workplace, subject to the following:
  • Workers appointed with a monthly wage shall be paid at least once a month;
  • If the wage is paid per production and the work required a period exceeding two weeks, the worker shall receive each week an advance payment in accordance with the completed work, provided the remaining amount is paid during the week following the completion of the entrusted work;
  • The workers’ wages in cases other than those mentioned in the two previous paragraphs shall be paid once each week at most, unless otherwise agreed upon;
  • Upon termination of employment, a worker shall be immediately paid his wages and all of the amounts due to However, should he terminate his employment of his own accord, the employer is required in this event to pay the worker’s wage and all of his entitlements within a period not exceeding seven days as of the date on which the worker left his work.
  • Subject to the provision of the previous paragraph, if the employer shows delay in the disbursement of the worker’s wage, said employer shall pay to the worker an annual compensation equivalent to 6% of the wage in respect of which a delay was shown during six months or less as of the date of payment of the wage. This rate shall be subject to a 1% increase for each month of delay after said period without exceeding 12% of the wage per yea

Article 41

The employer shall not transfer a worker employed on monthly basis to a worker employed on a daily, weekly, piece-work or hourly basis, without the worker’s written conse