By Suad Hamada (Our correspondent)

1 March 2008

MANAMA — The right of foreign workers to shift jobs without the permission of their sponsor to be affective from July might not continue for long as a lawmaker submitted yesterday a proposal to impose restrictions to such privileges.

The labour market reforms law to be activated in July will give expatriates the right to seek better employment services by joining new companies without the need for no-objection-letter from the sponsors.

Salafist Hamad Al Muhanadi tabled a proposal of law to amend article 25 of the law to ban foreign workers from leaving their jobs within the first year and if they plan to leave they should inform their employers three months in advance.

The government has given such privileges to foreign manpower to eliminate discrimination against them and make Bahrainis more preferable to employers, as many companies recruit expatriates because they don't have the right to move to another job.

“I support the government's move, but to an extend as the rights of businessmen and employers should be considered, so imposing certain restrictions could avoid foreign workers from misusing such right," Al Muhanadi said.

The law that was drafted by the government as part of the labour reforms.