Bahraini government debates dumping expat workers over 50 years old

Published:  17 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UAE, Jobs
Bahrain’s House of Representatives will debate a bill prohibiting expat workers over the age of 50.

The bill, due to be debated this week, will not only end the hiring of expat professionals over 50 years of age, but will force contract terminations for those already over the age limit. The controversial measure will see its second time in parliament, as it was introduced and passed last year before being rejected by the emirate’s Services Committee.

According to local media, the reintroduction of the failed bill is intended to offer more job opportunities to unemployed Bahrainis, even although the Market Regulatory Authority has rejected it for its adverse affect on the large number of companies dependent on employees’ experience in their sectors. Local labour unions as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry are also against the bill, stating it contravenes International Labour Convention rulings.

Meanwhile in Qatar, the diplomatic crisis and blockade seems not to have affected residents and expats as badly as was expected at its outset. A cross-section of expats recently interviewed by local media are determined to stay in Doha and are even looking to change jobs or import their families. Overall, the expat community has confidence in Qatar and its peoples’ ability to work around the blockade and continue to live normally.

One manager at an automobile company told reporters he’d returned home after his contract had ended, but had no problem in securing another job, He said he had faith the blockade would not affect residents’ everyday lives, adding he was happy about the increased variety of products now arriving from other countries. He noted the malls are as crowded as ever, and restaurants are still busy.

For those who are still unable to see the motivation behind the blockade, a recent revelation by US intelligence officials suggest hacks of Qatari government websites and posting of false news may have sparked the upheaval. The guilty parties are believed to have been senior UAE politicians, although it’s not clear exactly where the hack originated.

On May 23, members of the UAE’s government discussed the plot, including false accusations that Qatar had praised Hamas and referred to Iran as an ‘Islamic power’. The UAE ambassador to Washington has denied the report.
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