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Law No. 36 of 2012, also known as the Labor Law, is the main rule for how work is managed in Bahrain's private companies. This law makes sure employees are treated well and get basic rights like time off, extra pay for overtime, health care, and fair treatment when their job ends.
If you team up with Gloroots, an employer of record in Bahrain, they can help you understand all the rules that manage work in the country.
Employers need to make employment agreements in both Arabic and a language that the company and the employee can understand. They should make two copies of the contract—one for the employer and one for the employee.
According to the country's laws, the contract should include information like:
- Where the employee will work
- What the employee will do
- How many hours the employee will work
- Days off and other times the employee can be away from work
- How much the employee will be paid
- When the employee will be paid
- Extra money and other payments
- How the job can end
Employers must show the salary and other good things in Arabic, using only the Bahraini dinar money.
Employers cannot ask employees to work for more than 48 hours. Do note that during Ramadan, working hours become shorter, about six hours. This is supposed to apply to everyone by law, but sometimes only Muslims who fast during the day get these shorter hours.
Muslims take a break from work on Friday. But for some companies that function five days a week, they might give a day off on Thursday or Saturday. Many international companies like to take Saturday off, so they have the same days as most of the world. Some other companies prefer Thursday off because the school 'weekend' is on Thursday and Friday.
People are not allowed to work for more than 11 hours in one day. This includes the time they work and the breaks they take.
Private companies can choose if they want to give time off on public holidays. If people work on these holidays, they can either get another day off later or get extra money, 150% more, on top of their normal pay.
If a public holiday is on a weekend (Friday or Saturday), the boss has to give people another day off instead.
Workers shouldn't work more than two extra hours a day. If they do, they should get paid their regular wage plus at least 25% more for each extra hour during the day and 50% more for extra hours at night. This extra pay for overtime can't be part of the yearly salary in the work agreement.
Senior managers don't get extra pay for working overtime.
Bahrain doesn't have a set minimum wage.
Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave
When a woman is pregnant, she gets 75 days off for maternity leave. For the first 60 days, she gets paid her regular wage, but the last 15 days are without pay.
After coming back to work, the woman can have two extra hours each day for breastfeeding until the baby turns six months old. Then, she also has two breaks for breastfeeding, each lasting at least 1 hour.
Workers who have worked for a year or more can take a paid break from work, known as annual leave. This break should be at least 30 working days, and they should be paid their usual salary during this time. They get this leave at a rate of 2.5 days for each month they've worked.
As per the labor law, employees can't lose this right to annual leave. If they haven't used up their leave, they can either use it in the next year or get paid for it every two years or when they leave the job.
Employees don't get official sick leave until they've worked for 3 months. They also need to show a note from a doctor to avail sick leaves.
After those first 3 months, employees can avail sick leaves for another 55 days every year, and are paid on the following basis:
- First 15 days - Whole salary
- Next 20 days - Half of their salary
- Last 20 days - No pay
They can keep this sick leave pay for up to 240 days.
No tax on personal income.
Other Taxes and Social Security contribution:
Employer Payroll Contributions:
Employee Payroll Contributions:
To end an employee's job, the employer needs to have good reasons and tell the employee ahead of time. There are several situations when this can happen:
- During a trial period
- When a fixed-time contract is done
- If the employer has a good reason and gives enough notice
- If the employee doesn't improve after having a chance (usually 60 days)
- If the employee quits, can't work, passes away, is no longer needed, or reaches retirement age (usually 60)
- If there are reasons listed in Article 107 of the Labor Law
- If a company has to close, they must let the Ministry of Labor and Social Development know. Local workers might get more protection from losing their job in such cases, and they might get more money from the government.
Either the employer or the employee can end the contract, but they have to tell the other person at least 30 days before. The contract still applies during this time, and both sides have to do what they agreed to. If there's no notice, the person who ends the contract has to pay money instead. During the trial period, only one week's notice is needed.
Unless the termination is done according to Article 107 of the Labor Law, employees might have rights to get paid until their last working day, notice (or money instead of notice), money for unused annual leave, a payment when their job ends called an end-of-service gratuity payment (EOSG), and the employer might have to pay them back for any work-related expenses they didn't get paid for.
If the employer ends the job, the employee can get an EOSG payment based on how long they worked:
If someone worked part of a year, the payment is adjusted to match that time.
Many companies have a three-month trial period, but for some jobs, it can be extended to six months. During this time, one week's notice is needed.