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PH lauds Bahrain for new labor laws

/ 04:39 AM November 08, 2013

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz: Impressed INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has lauded the government of Bahrain for its labor reform program, which includes new regulations aimed at upholding the welfare of migrant workers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday issued a citation praising the Middle East kingdom during a meeting with visiting Bahrain Labor Minister Jameel Bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan.

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She thanked the minister for “initiating labor reforms to ensure the welfare and protection of migrant workers, including OFWs, working and living in Bahrain.”

“I am very much impressed by the efforts of the Bahrain labor ministry in progressively coming out with reform policies that safeguard the rights of migrant workers to decent work and living conditions,” Baldoz told Ali Humaidan and the other members of the Bahraini delegation.

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The delegation included director Farooq Ameen of the labor ministry’s public and international relations department; director Ahmed Al Haiki of the labor inspection and trade unions; director Ashraf Emam of the customers service department of Bahrain, and acting director Han Al Saffia of the labor ministry’s public relations office.

They are in Manila to “discuss labor and employment matters of mutual concern, including Bahrain’s new regulations which aim to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers.”

“Our visit is part of our efforts to balance the rights of employees with that of their employers. Flexibility is our aim in providing the needed balance. It is the key aim behind the new system,” Ali Humaidan said.

Bahrain’s new labor regulations are “connected to the Labor Market Regulatory Authority’s vision and responsibility to ensure that the rights and obligations of both employers and employees are protected,” he said.

For his part, Emam said “the pro-employee approach of the new Bahrain labor laws protects contractual migrant workers, increases their salaries and improves their working conditions.”

“Under the new law, an expatriate worker can switch jobs without the need for his employer’s consent or even if he has an expired work visa. Under the provisions of LMRA Resolution No. 79, a (migrant) worker has the right to transfer to another employer even without the consent of his current employer provided he has completed one year with his current employer before starting the transfer process,” he said.

According to Emam, “the worker only needs to notify the current employer of the intent to transfer via registered letter. Then the worker will have to follow up with the new employer for the application submission and LMRA requirements for transfer.”

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TAGS: Bahrain, Global Nation, labor laws, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Philippines
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