NUMBER of cases involving non-payment of wages has dropped so far this year compared to last year.
Labour and Social Development Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Doseri said this reflected the growth of Bahrain’s economy.
The GDN previously reported that 1,769 complaints about unpaid wages were handled by the ministry last year.
This was the equivalent of almost five every day, with 2017 going on record for registering the highest number of complaints of non-payment of wages in the past five years.
Mr Al Doseri did not provide any figures for cases recorded so far this year, but told the GDN it was significantly less.
“The main issue faced by companies are delayed payments from sub-contractors, which I think is getting better and the number of cases of non-payment reported to us is coming down,” he said.
“Since the start of this year, we have received less complaints and I understand people are now aware and willing to come to the ministry with their complaints, unlike in the past when they feared doing this.
“Following the government’s intervention in the issue involving governmental payments, I think many contractors are getting paid, which is also helping the wages to be settled faster.
“We don’t have many companies with major non-payment issues and there are just less than five such companies, including G P Zachariades (GPZ).
“As we know the economy is suffering all over the region, but we must admit that Bahrain is getting better compared to the rest of the GCC.
“No employer can or should blame the economy for not paying employees, which is not acceptable legally or religiously.
“We urge employers to find alternate ways to pay their employees if they fear financial problems could hit their businesses, and we call on employees to report cases of non-payment to us at the earliest.”
He was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of a two-day job fair that was opened yesterday by Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan at the ministry complex in Zayed Town.
The fair is showcasing 1,360 vacancies in the education sector, with a total of 40 exhibitors offering 360 positions and the ministry’s job bank has another 1,000 job vacancies, open for Bahrainis.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Northern Governor Ali Al Asfoor, MPs, municipal councillors, businessmen and community figures.
The GDN reported in September that job fairs organised by the ministry were helping in maintaining a stable unemployment rate. According to the quarterly employment report, endorsed by the Cabinet in February, the average monthly rate of job-seekers reached 7,942 last year, compared with 7,414 in 2014 and 6,946 in 2015.
A total of 2,208 job-seekers benefited from training programmes last year – 1,405 of whom were women.
The report also stated that 10,040 eligible recipients benefited from the insurance against unemployment programme last year, down from 11,083.