Last updated on: November 23rd, 2020
The Bahrain Labour Law is governed by the Labour Law for the Private Sector, 2012. The law revitalizes the private sector Labour Market by giving more rights to employees, such as improving the working conditions. The law also introduced enhancements in terms of annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave entitlement, labor disputes resolution, etc.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Normal Working Hours
Regular hours of work for each employee shall not exceed 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. The hours of work during the month of Ramadan shall not exceed 6 hours a day or 36 hours a week.
The employee may not be employed for more than 8 hours per day unless otherwise agreed upon, provided the effective working hours do not exceed 10 hours per day.
The employer shall post at an apparent location in the workplace the schedule clarifying the weekly rest day, the working hours, and the rest periods of each employee, in addition to any modifications to this schedule. Art 51 & 55 of Labor Law.
The employer must set up a special file for each employee that includes all the data related to the employee, in particular:
- Name, age, demographic number, marital status, place of residence, and nationality.
- Job, profession, qualification, and experience.
- Date of his work, his wages, and the developments that occurred to him.
- Leaves and the penalties.
- The date and reasons for ending employment.
The employer must keep the employee’s file for a period of at least two years from the date of expiry of the employment contract. Art 68 of Labor Law.
The employer may employ the employee for additional hours beyond the normal working hours if so required by the circumstances of the work. Overtime hours should not exceed 2 hours per day.
Pay – The employee shall receive for each additional working hour a wage equivalent to his due wage plus at least 25 % for hours worked during the day, and at least 50% for hours worked during the night. Art 54 of Labor Law.
The period between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am is considered night work. The Minister shall issue a decision determining the cases, works, and occasions in which women may not be employed at night.
Pay for Work at Night – The employee shall receive a wage equivalent to his due wage plus at least 50% for hours worked during the night. Art 1, 54 of Labor Law.
An employer shall not work for more than 6 consecutive hours without a preceding interval for rest or a meal or prayer of not less than 30 minutes which shall not be deemed to be part of the hours of work.
The working hours and rest periods shall be regulated in such a way that no employee shall be present at the workplace for more than 11 hours a day calculated from the time of entering the workplace until departure. Employees who engage in work that is seasonal in nature, may not be provided with the rest period provided that their stay does not exceed 12 hours per day.
The rest period shall be calculated as part of the hours during which the employee is present at the workplace in case the work requires him to be present in the workplace. Art 52 & 53 of Labor Law.
The work at the establishment must be regulated in such a way that the employee receives a weekly day of rest of not less than 24 complete hours. Friday shall be deemed to be a weekly day of rest. Due to the Muslim prayer’s time on Friday, an employer may replace this day with any other day of the week for some of his employees.
An employer may grant the employee a weekly rest period of more than 24 consecutive hours provided the working hours during the week do not exceed 48 hours.
Work On Rest Days
An employer may require an employee to work on his weekly day of rest if so required by the circumstances of the work. The employee shall have the choice between receiving a wage equivalent to his due wage plus 50% for hours worked on a day of rest or another day for rest.
No employee shall be employed on his weekly day of rest more than twice in a row unless by virtue of his written consent. If a Friday or any public holiday coincides with annual leave, the employee shall be granted another day instead. Art 57 of Labor Law.
Below are the 8 public holidays in Bahrain:
- New Year’s Day
- Labour Day
- Eid Al Fitr 1441
- Eid Al Adha 1441
- Al-Hijra New Year 1442
- Ashoora 1442
- Prophets Birthday 1442
- National Day
*All Islamic holidays are subject to confirmation at the time.
If a Friday or any public holiday coincides with statutory annual leave, the employee shall be granted another day instead.
The employee may obtain a leave with full pay on holidays and official holidays.
Pay for Work on Holiday
The employer may employ the employee on any of these days if so required by the circumstances of the work, and in this case, the employee shall have the choice between a wage equivalent to his due wage plus 50% for hours worked on the day of rest or another day for rest. Art 64 of Labor Law, https://www.cbb.gov.bh/official-bank-holidays/.
An employee who has spent at least one year in the employer’s service shall be entitled to an annual leave of not less than 30 days with pay, at a rate of two and a half days for each month.
If the period spent in the service of the employer is less than one year, the employee shall be entitled to a leave corresponding to the period of his work.
The employee may determine the date of his annual leave in case he is applying for an exam in any of the educational stages provided the employer is notified within a time-limit of not less than 30 days before the date on which the employee intends to take his annual leave. The employee shall take his leave on the date and for the period set by the employer. In all cases, the employee must enjoy an annual leave of fifteen days in a year, including at least six consecutive days.
The employee may interrupt his work due to a contingent event for a period not exceeding six days per year and for a maximum of two days each time. Said contingent leave shall be deemed part of the annual leave granted to the employee. Art 58-61 of Labor Law.
There is no mandatory minimum rate of pay for employees in Bahrain. Pay rates must be agreed upon directly with the employer through collective bargaining or other means of negotiating a fair living wage.
An employee completing 3 consecutive months in the employer’s service, whose sickness and entitlement to sick leave by providing a certificate issued by any of the Government Medical Centers or any of the clinics retained by the employer, shall be entitled to the following sick leaves during the same year:
- Fifteen days on full pay.
- Twenty days on half-pay.
- Twenty days without pay.
The employee may accumulate the balance of the sick leaves on full or partial pay to which he is entitled to a period not exceeding 240 days. The sick employee may utilize the balance of his annual leaves as sick leave if required in addition to his sick leave entitlement. Art 65-66 of Labor Law.
A female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave on full pay for 60 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 date.
The female employee may obtain an unpaid maternity leave for 15 days in addition to the above-mentioned leave. The female employee shall not be employed during the forty days following the delivery.
The employer shall not dismiss or terminate the labor contract of the female employee as a result of her marriage or during her maternity leave. Art 32-33 of Labor Law.
The female employee shall be entitled after the end of her maternity leave and until her child reaches six months of age to two breastfeeding periods of not less than 1 hour each. The female employee shall also be entitled to 2 periods of half an hour to provide care for her child each until her child reaches one year of age. The female employee 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 above mentioned period the female employee takes to provide care for her child in accordance with the female employee’s circumstances and the interest of the work. Art 35 of Labor Law.
The female employee shall be entitled to unpaid leave for taking care of her child not exceeding six years of age, of a maximum of six months each time, and for three times throughout the period of her service. Art 34 of Labor Law.
A Muslim employee who has worked with the employer for 5 consecutive years shall be entitled to a 14 day leave with full pay to perform his Hajj (Pilgrimage) obligation. This leave shall be granted once to the employee during his period of service unless he benefited from it, during his service for another employer.
The employer shall determine the number of employees to be granted such leave of absence each year in accordance with working requirements, provided priority is given to the employee who has achieved the longest period of continuous employment. Art 67 of Labor Law.
The employee shall be entitled to a 3 day leave on full pay in the following cases:
- In the event of his marriage for one time;
- In the event of the death of his/her spouse or any of his/her relatives to the fourth degree of kin;
- In the case of death of his/her spouse’s relatives to the second degree of kin.
Male employees shall be entitled to a 1 day leave on full pay upon the birth of their child. The Muslim female employee shall be entitled to 1 month of paid leave in the event of the death of her spouse. She also has the right to complete the death waiting period from her annual leave for a period of three months and ten days, and if she does not have a balance from her annual leave, she has the right to leave without pay. Art 63 of Labor Law.