Private employers in Bahrain can begin hiring foreign workers again in August after a four-month suspension in issuing work permits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority said it would start accepting requests for new work permits starting from August 9, following a decision by the Government Executive Committee, chaired by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad.
The authority altered the private sector hiring process to give priority to Bahrainis and foreign residents in the kingdom, the Bahrain News Agency reported.
All vacancies must be advertised in local newspapers to give residents two weeks to apply first, the labour authority said.
The government this month decided to support the salaries of Bahrainis employed in local private businesses that have been most severely affected by the pandemic.
Bahrainis insured under the National Employment Programme will receive up to 50 per cent of their pay from the Unemployment Insurance Fund for a period of three months starting from July, the BNA reported.
Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Ali Humaidan said the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic included travel and aviation, hospitality and restaurants, personal services (salons and gyms, games and entertainment halls), industry, health, administrative services, non-food retail, real estate and contracting, engineering and technical offices and local newspapers and magazines.
Bahrain was among the first GCC countries to implement strict containment measures after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out early this year and had recorded 40,311 cases, 144 deaths and 36,920 recoveries until July 30, according to a coronavirus tally kept by Worldometer.