Bahrain’s first phase of wage protection system rolled out

Cairo: The Bahrain’s first phase of wage protection system (WPS) for workers in the private sector rolled out from Saturday, local media reported.

The system will be implemented in three phases, beginning from May 1, 2021 for companies with the largest number of employees. 

  • Phase 1 – Begins May 1, 2021 for companies with 500 employees or more. 
  • Phase 2 – Begins September 1, 2021 for companies with 50 to 499 employees. 
  • Phase 3 – Begins January 1, 2022 for companies with 1 to 49 employees.

Through this system, employers will have to pay their employees through an approved financial agency to ensure timely payment of employees salaries as per the employment contract.

The current phase targets employers of 500 workers or above. Commenting on this, labour market regulatory authority chief executive officer, Jamal Abdul Aziz Al-Alawi highlighted the successful registration of 92 pee cent of stakeholder targets at this stage, outlining that LMRA will work with other stakeholders to facilitate their registration and preparation.

Referring to the registration procedure, Allawi pointed out that LMRA seeks to simplify all procedures related to joining the system, adding that employers must be licensed financial institutions or open a bank account for all workers registered in commercial banks at their respective facilities (Bahrain and Immigrants), Through the central bank of Bahrain, without the need to visit LMRA.

According to the official, employers are given a six-month grace period to follow up and thereby eliminate any difficulties in registration.

According to the Gulf News, Abdulaziz said, “Commitment to this system ensures transferring workers’ wages into their bank accounts regularly and as scheduled, thus consolidating transparency and oversight process. It supports expediting settlement of any wage-related dispute.”

This system applies on a voluntary basis to employers of domestic workers. It is hoped that this arrangement will help curb illegal labor in Bahrain.

This system is also beneficial for employers as it helps maintain a stable professional environment and business growth.