However, the amendment to the 2012 Private Sector Employment Law has been opposed by labour and business authorities based on concerns it could create a stigma in hiring women.
The Ministers of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait…1278 | the publication reaches you by | Bahrain News
Under existing rules, women in the private sector are given two hours for six months followed by an hour a day until the baby is a year old.
The amendments presented in two proposals by 10 MPs aim to give female employees in the private sector the same benefits as civil servants and security personnel.
However, the Labour and Social Development Ministry has asked MPs to rethink the amendments because it would place financial burdens on employers in the private sector.
“The private sector is already facing economic difficulties at the moment and the amendments would place a bigger burden on it,” it said in writing.
“If this rule is implemented then it would lead to the unemployment of women and even could lead businesses, mainly small and medium ones, to sack them on the basis they would become a burden on operational costs and this will increase unemployment.”
The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also stated its opposition to the proposed move, explaining that businessmen would incur losses and would reduce chances of female employment.
The Supreme Council for Women has backed the move, but has asked legislators to impose more guarantees that the status of women would not be negatively affected and their jobs would be secure.
Also in favour of the move are Bahrain’s two trade federations and the Bahrain Women’s Association for Human Development.
If approved during Tuesday’s Parliament session, the amendment will be drafted into a law by the government and referred to the National Assembly within six months for a vote.
Details of the amendment were attached to the session’s agenda which was released to the Press last night.
Also on the agenda for Tuesday is a proposal to have administrative posts at ministries, government bodies and state-owned companies to be occupied only by Bahrainis.
MPs are also set to vote on another proposal to stop state-owned companies from terminating the contracts of Bahrainis unless they commit a severe violation or a crime.
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the country’s sovereignty fund, said this would constitute as favouritism towards Bahrainis who would receive an advantage in treatment over their expat colleagues.
The National Oil and Gas Authority, which has backed the proposed move, said Bahrainis were already priorities in job selections, training, education and promotions besides incentives.
On Tuesday, MPs will also debate proposed amendments to the 1976 Social Insurance Law to have family members working in a family business to be covered by social insurance.
The Social Insurance Organisation has backed the amendments.
Parliament will also vote on a proposal that states insurance should cover parties that are not at fault rather than have them pay partially.
MPs will also vote on the establishment of a new national centre for cyber security, which has been backed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Interior Ministry.
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