The Bahrain Shura Council has discussed a draft law proposing a ceiling on the rate of recruiting domestic workers for each nationality. The legislation aims to prevent exploitation by employers during the recruitment process.
The draft law has been referred to the Services Committee for further study. The main objective is to reduce the cost of recruiting domestic servants and their equivalents. The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) is required to set a maximum limit on recruitment costs based on nationalities with the Minister’s approval.
The law also prohibits recruitment agencies from receiving additional benefits or advantages from employers beyond the specified limit. The proposed law aims to address the existing legislative gap by setting a maximum limit on recruitment costs, alleviating the burden on citizens seeking to hire domestic workers.
The committee’s rapporteur, Dr. Ali Ahmed Al Haddad, affirmed that the proposed law aims to address the ongoing rise in the cost of recruiting domestic workers and similar positions. Al Haddad indicated that the committee approved the consideration of the proposed law for several reasons.
“One of the primary reasons is the absence of specific regulations governing the costs of recruiting domestic workers, despite the rapid and unwarranted escalation of recruitment service fees. The existing law does not include provisions for setting maximum limits on the costs of hiring domestic workers,” he said.
“In contrast, the proposed law seeks to enforce binding maximum limits for recruitment agencies, which will be determined based on comprehensive principles and regulations, specifying separate limits for each nationality. This measure ensures that recruitment agencies do not exceed the set limits,” he added.
During the session, the majority of Shura Council members expressed their support for the proposal, highlighting its potential benefits. However, Speaker of the Council Ali Al Saleh intervened to emphasise the importance of seeking the opinion of recruitment offices for female workers.
He argued that considering the perspective of recruitment offices is crucial, as they are one of the principal entities affected by the proposed law. He stressed that the absence of their opinion would render the report incomplete, urging the Council to return the draft law to the committee for further study.
The Shura Council’s decision to return the draft law for additional study reflects the importance of careful consideration and thorough examination of the proposed legislation. The Council’s commitment to creating a fair and balanced regulatory framework for the recruitment of domestic workers highlights its dedication to protecting the rights of both employers and employees.