The Minister of Labour and Social Development, His Excellency Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, expressed his gratitude to HM King Hamad for HM’s Royal Directives that continue to safeguard the health and safety of citizens and residents, in parallel with ensuring the sustainability of the national economy, by promoting a unified government response to COVID-19 and preventing liquidity strains. 

The Minister reserved a special praise for the support extended by the Cabinet, chaired by HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and the continued support of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.

The Minister explained that the government has continued in its commitment to keep Bahrain’s communities safe and support local businesses during these unprecedented times by paying 50% of the salaries of insured Bahrainis in the most adversely affected enterprises in the private sector for a period of 3 months, starting in July 2020, from the unemployment fund.

The Government’s decision follows the Cabinet’s approval to pay 50% of the salaries of insured Bahraini employees working within the private sector for a period of three months, starting July 2020, after setting the requirements of eligible individuals and identifying the sectors most adversely affected by COVID-19. 

The Social Insurance Organization (SIO) will pay, from the unemployment fund, a maximum of 50% of the salaries of Bahrainis working in private sector companies most adversely affected by the global pandemic, provided that the Bahraini employee is insured as at the end of June 2020, or is employed and insured through the National Employment Program by the end of the month that precedes the date of disbursement.

HE the Minister identified the economic sectors most adversely affected by the global pandemic, including the following sectors: the travel and aviation sector, the hospitality and restaurants sector, the personal services sector (salons and gyms, games and entertainment halls), the industrial sector, the health sector, the transportation sector, the rehabilitation and training sector (including kindergartens), the retail sector (other than food), the administrative services sector (public relations, media, and event organization), the real estate and contracting sector, engineering and technical offices, the local newspapers and magazines sector, and any other affected sectors except for the financial sector, telecommunications sector, science, technical and professional activities, and universities and schools.

As for the requirements and eligibility criteria, HE Humaidan explained that the entity receiving the support must; operate in one of the sectors adversely effected by the global pandemic, which caused its business activities to be wholly or partially disrupted and impacting its ability to meet the wages of its employees, retain its Bahraini employees during the year 2020, and commit to paying the remaining portion of the salaries of the Bahraini employees in full and without deduction, and on the date set for salary payments.

Commenting further, HE Humaidan praised the government's commitment to ensuring Bahraini citizens remain the core focus of its development initiatives, affirming the government's continued support for citizens amidst the the global pandemic. HE Humaidan expressed gratitude to employers for their cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and their commitment to implementing the relevant decisions in the public interest. 

HE Humaidan stressed that the Ministry will review the list of employers who benefited from the support provided in the first financial and economic stimulus package and will determine the companies most adversely affected. HE Humaidan noted that the list of eligible companies will then be referred to the SIO in order to transfer the necessary payments during the fourth week of every month.