A Guide on Statutory leaves in Bahrain

Ramzi Shahabdeen

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    Everyone deserves a break from the hectic work schedule. Apart from letting you fulfill your requirements, leaves are a way to recharge and refresh a person. Leaves are the rights of employees and they should be aware of the leave policies. Here we give you a glimpse into the leave policy in Bahrain.

    Under Bahrain Labor Law, workers shall be granted with following leaves as per the Articles 78 to 89:

    • Official Public holidays
    • Annual leave
    • Sick leave
    • Maternity leave
    • Hajj Leave
    • Marriage Leave
    • Paternity Leave
    • Compassionate leave
    • Iddah Leave

    Official Public holidays
    The following are the official leaves to be paid with full wages:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Labour Day
    • Eid-al Fitr
    • Day of Arafat
    • Eid Al Adha
    • Islamic New Year
    • Ashura
    • Prophet’s Birthday
    • National Day

    If any official holidays fall during the weekend, a day in lieu thereof shall be granted.

    Annual Leave

    Article 58 of the Bahrain Labor law says a worker can obtain annual leaves on the following basis:

    1. If an employee completes one year of service, he/she eligible for 30 days of Annual Leave
    2. If an employee period of service is less than one year, he/she is eligible for a proportion of his service in that year

    Frequently asked questions

    1. Can the employer determine when the employee leave will be taken?

      As per Article 59, employer is permitted to schedule the dates of annual leave according to the business requirements and conditions. Subject to the provision of Article 61, a worker shall have the right to schedule his annual leave if he has to sit for an examination in any educational level, provided that notice shall be given to the employer, at least 30 days before going on leave.

    2. Are Public holidays part of annual leave?

      Any public holidays shall not be counted as annual leave and shall be entitled for full pay leave as specified in Article 64 of Bahrain labor law.

    3. Can employee claim payment for unutilized leaves during termination of contract?

      Article 59 of Bahrain labor law allows employee to claim their accrued leave balance if he/ she leaves the employment without utilizing those leaves.

    4. Can an employee work for another employer during their annual leave?

      A worker shall not work for another employer while on annual or sick leave provided for in Article 62. Where his employer establishes that he has done so, he may deprive him of his wage for the duration of the leave or recover any wages previously paid to him

    5. Can an employer terminate an employee who is on leave?

      No, an employer shall not be entitled to exercise the right to terminate a contract of employment or to dismiss a worker during the period of his absence on annual or other approved leaves of absence.

    Sick Leave
    Sick leave is granted to an employee in the following rate:

    • First Fifteen Days – Full Pay
    • Next Twenty Days- Half Pay
    • Last Twenty Days – Without Pay

    As mentioned in Article 65, a worker who has completed three months of continuous service shall have the right, in case of a sickness certificate by a doctor nominated by the employer.

    See the following sample calculation simplifying the salary of an employee taking sick leaves.

    Frequently asked questions

    1. Can an employee who is on probation take a paid sick leave?

      An employee who completes continuous three months of service has the right to take certified sick leave.

    2. Can an employer terminate an employee due to Illness or Temporary disablement?

      An employer cannot terminate an employee on account of illness prior to availing him, the period designated for Sick leave as provided in the law. However, the employer shall give him notice of his desire to terminate the contract fifteen days before the date of the worker’s exhaustion of his leave entitlement provided for in Article 117. If the worker recovers before the expiry of such period, the employer shall be barred from terminating the contract due to the worker’s illness

    3. Is an employee allowed to extend his sick leave?

      A worker who is sick may make use of his annual leave balance in addition to the sick leaves to which he’s entitled.

    4. What is the difference between sick leave unpaid and unpaid leave?

      The days taken after Thirty- five days are regarded as sick leave unpaid and are different from unpaid leave. The days falling under this type of leave are included when determining the service period of an employee. This leave does NOT impact calculation of gratuity, outstanding vacation, air ticket payout or any other payroll accrual due to the employee.

    Maternity Leave

    As per Article 32, A female employee working in Bahrain shall be entitled to maternity leave as stated below:

    • Sixty days with full Pay
    • Additional fifteen days without pay

    Frequently asked questions concerning maternity leave

    1. Is the period taken for unpaid maternity leave included while determining the period of service?

      Yes, this period taken as unpaid maternity leave is included while determining the period of service and is counted while calculating gratuity at the end of service.

    2. Is a female employee entitled to any extra breaks post-delivery?

      When a female employee resumes working, she shall be entitled two additional breaks not less than one hour a day to nurse her child until her child turns six months and she is also entitled for two periods of care for 30 minutes each until her child completes one year of age. These breaks are treated as part of her working hours and not part of the normal break.

    3. What is the maximum no. of leave period a female worker can take without pay?

      Subject to the provision of Article 34, a female worker shall be entitled to obtain leave without pay to provide care for her child who is not more than six years of age for a maximum of 6 months in each case and for three times throughout the period of her service.

    Hajj Leave

    As per Article 67, Muslim worker shall be entitled for leave on full pay for 14 working days to perform his pilgrimage obligation, if Employee has served his employer for a continuous period of 5 years. Such leave shall be granted once to the worker during his service period unless he has taken it during his employment with another employer.

    Marriage Leave

    In the event of marriage, employees are entitled to full pay for 3 days, only once.

    Paternity Leave

    A worker is entitled to leave for one day leave with full pay upon the birth of his child.

    Compassionate Leave

    • In case of death of his/her spouse or one of his relatives to the fourth degree of relationship, employee is entitled to full pay for 3 days.
    • In case of death of his/her spouse’s relatives to the second degree of relationship, employee is entitled to full pay for 3 days.

    Eddah Leave

    • A Muslim female worker shall have the right to one month leave on full pay if her husband dies. She shall also be entitled to complete the Eddah from her annual leave for three months and ten days. If she does not have annual leave balance, she shall be entitled to leave without pay.

    Almost all companies across all the countries have provisions for casual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, earned/privilege leave, loss of pay (LOP), compensatory off, etc. Along with these leaves, countries such as Bahrain grant employees paternity leave, compassionate leave, marriage etc, which let them manage their professional and personal lives perfectly.

    For information on the payroll process in Bahrain click on this link

    Disclaimer:

    Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, HLB HAMT will not accept any liability arising out of errors or omissions. Please note that this blog is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues/topics covered. It is subjected to change and not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion.
     

     
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