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Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Bahrain


In Bahrain, an employer can terminate an employee's contract for reasons such as gross misconduct, underperformance, redundancy, completion of a fixed-term contract, or employee resignation. Gross misconduct refers to serious breaches of employment contract terms, company policies, or violations of Bahraini law. Underperformance is the consistent failure to meet job requirements or performance standards, despite warnings and opportunities for improvement. Redundancy is the elimination of a position due to economic necessity, restructuring, or technological changes.

Notice Requirements

The minimum notice period in Bahrain is 30 days according to Article 99 of the Labour Law. Employment contracts may stipulate longer notice periods, which must be honored. Termination notice must be provided in writing, stating the reason for termination and the effective date.

Severance Pay

Bahrain's Labour Law mandates severance pay in certain termination scenarios. If an employer terminates an indefinite contract without cause after three months of employment, they must pay the employee compensation equivalent to two days' wages for each month of service, with a minimum of one month's wages and a maximum of twelve months' wages. If the employer terminates a fixed-term contract before its expiration date, the employee is entitled to severance pay. However, severance pay may not be required in cases of gross misconduct by the employee.

Additional Considerations

Some industries or companies may have additional provisions regarding termination within their collective bargaining agreements. The Bahraini Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) provides resources and information on labor laws in Bahrain.


Bahrain's anti-discrimination laws are designed to protect individuals from discrimination based on sex, origin, language, religion, and creed. These laws are in place to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly, regardless of their personal characteristics.

Protected Characteristics

In Bahrain, the following characteristics are protected under anti-discrimination laws:

  • Sex: Protection against discrimination based on gender.
  • Origin: This includes national origin, ethnicity, and ancestry.
  • Language: Discrimination based on a person's primary language is prohibited.
  • Religion: Individuals are protected from discrimination due to their religious beliefs.
  • Creed: This extends to different philosophical or political beliefs.

Redress Mechanisms

For those who experience discrimination, Bahrain offers several avenues for redress:

  • Complaints to the Ministry of Labour and Social Development: Individuals can file complaints with the Ministry, which is responsible for labor law enforcement.
  • Labour Courts: Employees have the right to bring cases of discrimination to specialized labor courts.
  • Internal Grievance Procedures: Many companies have internal mechanisms in place to address discrimination complaints.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Bahrain have both a legal and ethical obligation to uphold anti-discrimination principles:

  • Non-discriminatory Policies: Employers should implement clear policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment, and outline investigation and disciplinary procedures.
  • Awareness and Training: Employers should educate their employees about anti-discrimination laws and foster a respectful workplace culture.
  • Fair Hiring and Promotion Practices: All employment decisions should be based on merit and qualifications, avoiding bias.
  • Prompt Response to Complaints: Employers should thoroughly investigate and take appropriate action to address any reported instances of discrimination.

Key Sources

Bahrain's commitment to anti-discrimination is enshrined in several legal sources:

  • The Constitution of Bahrain (Article 18): This states "People are equal in human dignity, and citizens are equal before the law in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination among them on the basis of sex, origin, language, religion, or creed."
  • The Labour Law for the Private Sector (Promulgating Law No. 36 of 2012): This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics in employment.

Working conditions

Bahrain's Labour Law for the Private Sector (Promulgating Law No. 36 of 2012) sets the minimum standards for working conditions in the country. This includes specifics regarding working hours, rest periods, and ergonomic considerations.

Work Hours

The standard workweek in Bahrain is 48 hours, spread across eight hours per day from Sunday to Thursday. During the holy month of Ramadan, work hours are reduced to a maximum of 36 hours per week, with a daily limit of six hours. Overtime work is permitted, with a maximum of two additional hours per day.

Rest Periods

The law mandates a minimum 30-minute break after no more than six consecutive hours of work.

Ergonomic Requirements

While Bahrain's labour law doesn't explicitly mention ergonomic requirements, employers hold a general duty of care towards their workforce. This translates to providing a safe and healthy work environment.

Employers can fulfill this duty regarding ergonomics by ensuring workstations are designed to promote good posture and minimize strain, such as providing adjustable chairs and ergonomic keyboards. They can also offer employees training on proper lifting techniques and workstation adjustments to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development is responsible for enforcing these labour standards. Employees who believe their working conditions breach these regulations can file a complaint with the Ministry.

Health and safety

Bahrain prioritizes worker well-being through a robust health and safety framework. The primary legislation governing this area is the Labour Law for the Private Sector (Promulgating Law No. 36 of 2012), alongside specific regulations issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD).

Employer Obligations

Employers in Bahrain hold significant responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment. Key obligations include:

  • Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Employers must proactively identify potential hazards in the workplace and implement measures to control or eliminate them.
  • Safe Work Practices: Establish and enforce safe work practices through clear policies and procedures.
  • Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): When necessary, employers must provide appropriate PPE to employees free of charge.
  • Training and Awareness: Employees must receive adequate training on health and safety hazards specific to their roles and proper use of PPE.
  • Accident Reporting and Investigation: Employers must report workplace accidents and injuries to the MLSD and conduct thorough investigations to prevent recurrence.

Employee Rights

Employees in Bahrain have fundamental rights concerning workplace health and safety:

  • Right to a Safe Work Environment: Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable risks to their health and safety.
  • Refusal of Unsafe Work: Employees have the right to refuse work they believe is unsafe, without fear of repercussions.
  • Reporting Unsafe Conditions: Employees can report unsafe work conditions to their employer or directly to the MLSD.

Enforcement Agencies

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) is the primary agency responsible for enforcing workplace health and safety regulations in Bahrain. Their inspectors conduct regular workplace visits to ensure compliance.

Additionally, the Labour Courts have the authority to hear cases involving breaches of health and safety regulations and award compensation to affected employees.

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