Proposal To Exempt Low-Income Workers In Bahrain From Unemployment Insurance Fees

The Services Committee of the Bahrain Council of Representatives is preparing to discuss a draft bill that would exempt workers with salaries less than BD700 from the 1% contribution to unemployment insurance.

The explanatory memorandum of the draft bill stated the proposal comes in light of economic difficulties faced by low-income groups, stressing that there have been substantial increases in food and other living costs that have eroded purchasing power, impacting low-income earners specifically.

It added that unemployment insurance funds have hundreds of millions in surpluses, meaning there is no need to burden low-wage earners with the 1% deduction.

MP Hamad Doy, a key proponent of the draft law, told sources that the government only uses 5% of annual unemployment insurance revenues, stating that the current funds are sufficient to cover benefits for decades without impact.

“Exempting low-income groups without affecting other contribution rates or government payments would have a negligible effect on fund revenues but boost liquidity,” he explained.

Al Doy highlighted the failure of the relevant authorities, represented by the Ministry of Labour, to fulfil their responsibilities as an executive body that receives these funds and disburses them to the unemployed.

“Numerous grievances have been lodged with the judiciary, highlighting concerns over unjustified and arbitrary closures of unemployment files, deliberate closures occurring on official holidays and Saturdays, undue delays in the distribution of payments to eligible individuals, and the closure of files based on false allegations of job refusal.

Additionally, deliberate delays in the disbursement process have been reported, causing frustration among rightful recipients awaiting their entitled assistance,” he explained.

He pointed out that his proposal also stems from the expressed desire of a large number of citizens, especially those with limited income, to have these deductions suspended.

This is due to several reasons, including the fact that their salaries are already low and insufficient to meet their daily living expenses and increasing obligations.

In addition to MP Al Doy, the proposal was presented by MPs Bader Al Tamimi, Hisham Al Ashairi, Mohsen Al Asboul, and Mohammed Al Baluchi.


News of Bahrain

Related Articles

Back to top button