Foreign Workers Can Now Choose

Since the 1st of August 2009 foreign workers have stopped working with their current employers and have moved to work with different employers in different institutions. The abolition of the guarantor

system has allowed workers to move freely between jobs. This has occurred despite the fact that many employers have objected to the new system as it causes disorder when attempting to replace the workers and also generates extra expenses.

A number of merchants closed their shops as a protest against the decision. The committee which consists of the (Ministry of Labour, Labour Market Regulatory Authority, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions), has failed to find a solution to the problem created by the implementation of the decision, which states that ‘the foreign worker has the right to move to another job without the permission of his employer as long as the rights of the latter are not affected’. The Minister of Labour described the guarantor system as ‘uncivilized’ and that the ‘freedom of changing jobs’ complies with international regulations. He also stated that abolishing the guarantor system will place Bahrain among developed countries in their attitudes towards foreign workers.