During the year 2021, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development launched several development initiatives and projects in terms of providing job opportunities for citizens and qualifying them to integrate into the labour market and to promote community development, as well as provide a decent living for citizens.
The Labour Ministry’s achievements are the outcomes of the support of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the unwavering interest of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, whose direct leadership and supervision had a great impact in achieving more successes, in light of the economic recovery plan.
This plan includes the implementation of several ambitious priorities, including the creation of promising job opportunities, making the citizen the first choice in the labour market, employing 20,000 Bahrainis and train 10,000 citizens annually until 2024.
The second edition of the National Employment Programme has been able to achieve its objectives by promoting care, rehabilitation, protection and social development for the various segments of society. It also provided a system and comprehensive projects that helped serve vital groups in society, such as children, people of determination and senior citizens.
The Labour Ministry is committed to implementing the Cabinet resolution to increase the amounts of social security assistance, as well as increasing the value of financial support for people with low incomes by 10% from January 2022. In addition, it will focus on raising the standard of living for the neediest citizens, supporting and developing productive families, facilitating procedures for NGOs, and developing the skills of their members to carry out their assigned role in social service and developmental charitable work.
With the increase in the number of graduates, the Ministry has sought to strengthen its partnerships with the private sector and to speed up the pace of recruitment of citizens in private enterprises. The National Employment Programme and the launch of the economic recovery plan have contributed to maintaining the stability of the labour market despite the challenges faced by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the rest of the world due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). This resulted in employing 26,344 citizens in 2021, as part of the National Employment Programme.
Rehabilitation and training of citizens in the private sector:
The number of job seekers benefiting from training programmes reached 12,841 until December 2021. The Ministry signed 15 memoranda of understanding regarding the provision of virtual training and guidance programmes free of charge to job seekers in various fields.
Private training institutes vs. the challenges:
The year 2021 witnessed a remarkable development in the training mechanisms of institutions and private training centres through the improvement of distance training techniques. This mechanism has contributed to the establishment of a modern stage by taking advantage of technological growth in the field of training and human resource development.
The number of licensed private training centres and institutes supervised by the Ministry until last October reached (93) institutions. Of these institutes, there are (14) professional and technical centres and (79) administrative and commercial centres and institutes. Meanwhile, (4) new training institutions were licensed, as well as (651) training programmes in several training fields, amounting to (100) local attendance programmes.
In addition, (211) local programmes and (315) international programmes were licensed, and (25) palliative programs in the National Qualifications Framework were approved. Moreover, licenses were granted to (355) trainers in various training institutions, (396) certificates were certified, and (71) inspection visits were made. Interviews were also conducted with (78) investors regarding opening private training institutions. Several workshops and virtual visits were held for a group of newly licensed training institutions.
Compensation and Unemployment Benefit:
The number of job seekers who are eligible for unemployment benefit and compensation reached 28,000 beneficiaries until September 2021 and that is after removing the repeated names from the monthly lists. To provide all provisions to the beneficiaries of unemployment compensation and unemployment benefits, the Ministry provided these services electronically, so that a jobseeker who has been dismissed from work for reasons beyond his/her control can update their data via the website. It also helps in recording recurring claims for unemployment benefits, submitting grievances, inquiries and complaints about unemployment.
The Labour Ministry undertook measures to ensure the compliance of establishments with the labour law in the private sector to protect workers’ rights, provide a safe and stable work environment and fair working conditions through its legislative and oversight tools. From the beginning of the year until October, the ministry’s inspectors carried out 2,628 visits to facilities, which included 168,386 workers. It was noticed from the inspection visits that the national employment in the establishments included 33,666 workers, while the number of foreign workers was at 134,720. The inspection campaigns resulted in issuing (68) violations and warnings.
Enhance occupational safety:
The Ministry continued its efforts to monitor the establishments’ compliance with all necessary instructions and precautions to confront the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic through 350 inspection visits to work sites and labour camps until last November.
Summer afternoon outdoor work ban:
In implementation of Ministerial Resolution No. (3) of 2013 regarding the prohibition of work under direct sunlight in the months of July and August, the number of visits made by the Ministry’s inspectors reached 11,342 at various work sites. The percentage of establishments’ commitment to implementing the decision for this year was (99.8%), while the number of violating establishments had decreased to (22) only. Violations were submitted to (33) workers only.
Rehabilitating and training jobseekers and workforce in the private sector:
The number of job seekers benefiting from training programmes reached (11,792) until December 2021. The Ministry also signed 15 memoranda of understanding to provide free virtual training and mentorship programmes for job seekers with various qualifications and to sign other memoranda of understanding related to different training programmes.
The total number of friendly settlements recorded by the Individual Labour Disputes Settlement Office at the ministry had reached (1652), of which (805) were settlements within the ministry, while (757) requests were put on hold. During the same period, the labour consultations amounted to (5297) and the written responses to legal inquiries amounted to 215. Finally, the responses to legal inquiries by phone reached (12165).
HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s Award for Productive Families:
The Ministry organised a ceremony to honour the winners of HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa award to encourage productive families in its 14th local edition. The list of honours and awards included the award for the best productive family, best product, and best sponsor and supporter of productive families’ projects.
“Khotwa” Step Program for Home Projects:
It was found that the number of those who obtained a home-based work permit, among families of individuals within the step programme is (1243). Meanwhile, (62) families and individuals were converted into entrepreneurs and granted commercial registrations.
The number of families and individuals benefitting from the social security assistance reached 16588, until December 2021. During the month of December, the government took the initiative to increase the value of social security by 10%, which will be implemented from the beginning of January 2022.
Reduction of Electricity and Water Fees:
Consumption fees for electricity and water were reduced for (12786) Bahraini families who are benefiting from the social assistance system until the end of November 2021.
Disability allowances continued to be disbursed until December 2021 at a rate of (100) dinars per month, and certain devices were provided to people with disabilities, whose number reached (12740).
House fire damage compensation:
During the year 2021, (54) families were compensated for destruction caused by house fire up to December 2021.
Financial support for low-income people:
The number of beneficiaries registered for the financial support for low-income people (high-cost premium) amounted to (128298) families, until December 2021. The amount has been raised by 10% and is scheduled to be activated from the beginning of January 2022.
Monetary compensation in exchange for lifting meat subsidies:
Cash compensation dues were paid to citizens in exchange for lifting meat subsidies. The number of beneficiaries of this compensation amounted to (171,880) families until October 2021, with total disbursements amounting to more than (28) million Bahraini dinars.
Social Development Centres:
During 2021, given the adherence to social distancing, the social centres implemented 191 activities in the field of promoting and educating members of civil society. This was done in cooperation with private sector institutions, government agencies and civil society organisations to achieve sustainable development goals in all social, cultural, economic, health and educational fields. 25,417 individuals have benefited from these activities.
Rehabilitation of determined people academically and professionally:
The services for people of determination were improved. The public and private rehabilitation centres continued to develop their health care services, rehabilitation, academic and professional programmes. The number of licensed centres working in the field of disability reached 40. Whilst 12 private centres working in the field of rehabilitation of persons with disabilities benefited 714 students. On the other hand, there are 6 government centres, which are run by the ministry and provide educational and rehabilitation services to 200 students to help them integrate into society effectively.
Through community partnership, the ministry, in coordination with the General Directorate of Traffic Department, trained 112 persons with disabilities to obtain free driver’s license, and provided 113 hearing aids and other devices with special specifications. The total number of persons with disabilities registered with the ministry until November 2021 stood at 12740.
There are 15 institutions for parent day care that are licensed to provide services to the elderly. Currently, work is underway to provide licenses for 5 additional institutions, which continued to provide their services during the year, (through social distancing), to more than 1,600 (men and women). These institutions are run by civil society organisations through community partnership.
Child Protection Centre:
Until the second quarter of 2021, 355 children (both girls and boys) benefited from the services of the Child Protection Centre. There were also six workshops conducted on developmental and preventive programmes, which benefited 170 children and adults.
The issuance of the Restorative Justice Law for Children No. (4) of 2021 strengthened their protection from maltreatment, in addition to showing the importance and role of the Child Protection Centre, as one of the important projects adopted by the Ministry. There are 25 children benefitting from the services of this centre.
Child Welfare Home (Batelco Home):
Until September 2021, there were 10 studies on nurseries, and three studies on troubled families, while the number of fostered children was five. In addition, 95 family follow-ups were monitored by telephone and field visits. Whilst six children of troubled families were handed over to their parents
In accordance with the law, the ministry monitors and supervises 657 NGOs. The legal status of 31 organisation were rectified within the framework of the ministry’s supervision and support for NGOs, in order to improve their performance towards community service and consolidate charitable and voluntary work in the Kingdom of Bahrain.