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Labour Ministry: Most Private Sector Workers Have been Reinstated.

Manama, Feb. 1. (BNA) -- Upon directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, and in light of the Government's follow-up, support of senior officials and continuous cooperation with the National Committee in-charge of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, headed, chaired by Ali Saleh Al Saleh, the Labour Ministry has exerted intensive efforts with the concerned companies and workers regarding the reinstatement of dismissed workers.

Such efforts included direct negotiations with companies and serious initiatives to solve legal, administrative and financial problems. Therefore, important results are achieved in implementing the recommendation aimed at finalizing this issue by the end of January 2012.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Labour states that: First: The final results of reinstatement: As per the Ministry's data, the total number of dismissed workers, before verification, was (2462). After exerting the necessary efforts to deal with such cases as per the concerned laws and regulations, the final results are: 1. (937) dismissed workers have been reinstated and are on duty now.

2. (608) dismissed workers have been granted the approval of the companies and are in the process of reinstatement.

3. (291) dismissed workers are re-employed in other companies with better jobs or at the same level of their previous jobs. These workers are not interested in returning back to their previous jobs and are under follow-up.

4. (44) dismissed workers refused to be reinstated, although their employers agreed to reinstate them. Therefore, such files are closed.

5. (2) dismissed workers got approval of their employers to be reinstated but they are waiting to get the final approval from the security authorities due to the special nature of their places of work.

6. (202) dismissed workers did submit any complaints to the Ministry and did not answer the calls by the Ministry's staff for more information regarding their cases. The Ministry has announced previously that they have the chance to be reinstated should they wish to.

7. The dismissal of (194) workers was not related to the regretful events. Such cases have been dealt with according to the law and the regular procedures.

8. (5) dismissed workers could not be reinstated due to the closure of the companies they were working in.

9. Out of the (2462) dismissed workers, only (179) cases have not been accepted by the companies, for various reasons, but the Ministry is continuing its efforts to reach the right solution.

The above-mentioned results show that the vast majority of the dismissed workers have already been reinstated or are in the process of reinstatement, or have been re-employed in other companies.

Second: Regarding the dismissed workers who did not accept the offered deals: As mentioned above, (608) dismissed workers have been granted the approval of the companies and are in the process of reinstatement. The Ministry is also following up the cases of workers who accepted to be reinstated and therefore updating its lists as soon as possible.

If some dismissed workers hesitate to accept the deals, due to being not satisfied with the conditions and procedures set out by the companies for reinstatement, and in spite of the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Labour to settle certain disputes regarding conditions and concordance with the Labour Law in the Private Sector and its implementing orders; in such cases the Ministry of Labour would like to clarify that the legal advice to settle the remaining disputes should be as follows: a. If an employer agreed to reinstate a dismissed worker to his job, in the context of a compromise, the followings should be done: 1. The dismissed worker should be reinstated to his job with the same previous conditions and occupational benefits.

2. The employer has the right to assign another job to the worker with the same previous conditions, provided that the new job is not substantially different than the previous one. In addition, as per article (45) of the Labour Law, the intention of such change should not aim at harming the worker.

3. The compromise that leads to reinstatement requires a degree of flexibility from both the worker and the employer. That includes some concessions which do not violate the Labour Law. The Ministry is working to insure that such deals do not include any conditions in contrast with the Labour Law.

4. A compromise to reinstate a dismissed worker is acceptable even if the labour complaint is referred to the court, as any settlement between a worker and his employer is acceptable in any stage of the lawsuit.

5. After reinstatement, the employer has the right to implement disciplinary sanctions that are less than those mentioned in the Law, provided that such sanctions should be in proportion with the violation committed by the worker before his dismissal and in accordance with the Labour Law. In addition, the employer should take into account the discipline guaranties mentioned in the Ministerial Decree No. 22 of the year 1976 respecting patterns of rules for penalties.

6. Nothing in the Law prohibits an employer from asking a dismissed worker before reinstating him to sign a pledge to respect law and order at the place of work after being reinstated.

7. A reinstated worker, as per a settlement offered by the employer, has the right to submit a complaint or to check with the Ministry of Labour to complain or inquire regarding conditions he deems not in consistent with the Law.

b. According to article (110) of the Labour Law in the Private Sector, the role of the Ministry in solving those labour disputes related to dismissals is to reach a compromise. If such a settlement was not reached, the Ministry must refer the dispute to the court to issue a binding decision for both parties. When it becomes impossible to solve a dispute and reinstate a dismissed worker, or the employer insists on the conditions under dispute, the Ministry, which is keen to avoid an abetment -- as the right to submit a labour dispute to the court will be lost after the elapse of one year from the date of termination of the contract (article 156 of the Labour Law) -- the Ministry of Labour calls upon the employers to cooperate and apply His Majesty's the King directives, as well as the dismissed workers who did not return to their jobs yet, to start to: 1. Accept reinstating deals. Then submit any remaining issues or complaints to the Ministry to be solved as per the Law, without any effect on reinstatement.

2. Or agree with the Ministry to refer the whole case to the court -- which means that the concerned court, not the Ministry, will be responsible till it issues a final decision.

3. In order to avoid abatement, all the concerned workers should take the right decision in this regard no later than 15 days from the date of publishing this statement.

The Ministry of Labour takes this opportunity to emphasis the importance of directing the efforts exerted by employers and workers towards settling any issues or disputes resulted from the unfortunate events of February and March 2011. Such efforts should enhance the positive relations serving the common interests of the social partners.

As this file is going to be finalized, the Ministry of Labour calls upon everybody to work, with strong determination, towards promoting prosperity in this beloved country, strengthening factors of sustainable development, creating more job opportunities and productivity so as to enhance the social fabric of our one Bahraini nation.

WHQ

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Publication:Bahrain News Agency
Date:Feb 1, 2012
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