Manama, Aug. 3 (BNA): The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), in cooperation with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA), has announced the Optional Insurance System for Domestic Workers to protect employers and domestic expatriate workers following any incident that covers for insurance.
The Optional Insurance System for Domestic Workers, which will commence on August 4, will protect employers and domestic expatriate employees in the event of leaving work in violation of the conditions of the work permit, unfair dismissal, as well as compensation in cases of injury, disability, or death.
In the event of death, insured employees’ legal heirs will receive compensation, and repatriation costs would be covered.
LMRA CEO Jamal Abdulaziz Al Alawi indicated that the LMRA has coordinated with the CBB, the BIA, and insurance companies to develop an integrated plan that guarantees the rights of all parties. He noted that the employer has the option to insure expatriate employees upon their recruitment.
The option to insure domestic expatriate employees will be made available when submitting a new permit application for direct employment or requesting a permit renewal for a period of one or two years, or through intermediary employment (via recruitment agencies). Existing permit holders can also issue insurance policies in line with the expiry date of the current legal permit.
For new arrivals, the insurance policy is activated as soon as the expatriate employee enters the country. The insurance policy is activated for those residing in Bahrain as soon as a work permit is issued.
Three insurance packages have been made available for employers to choose from. Prices range between BD 40 and BD 120 for 12 months and between BD 60 and BD 180 for 24 months. Details relating to the packages are posted on the authority's website.
The CEO and the LMRA will regularly review procedures to ensure that the needs of citizens and residents are being met and that no parties’ rights are infringed upon. Insurance for domestic expatriate employees provides cover against unforeseen problems or circumstances domestic expatriate employees or employers may face.
Al Alawi expressed his thanks and appreciation for the Central Bank of Bahrain’s work to establish the Optional Insurance System for Domestic Workers and called upon employers to take advantage of the new programme.
“We are pleased that the Central Bank has played an active role in establishing the Optional Insurance System for Domestic Workers in cooperation with the LMRA and the Bahrain Insurance Association,” CBB Governor Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj said.
“This arrangement will serve a large segment of citizens and employers in securing benefits, including covering replacement expenses for the employer, and benefits for the domestic worker in the event of death or serious illness or disability due to accidents, etc. This project will also aid in expanding insurance services provided in the local market.”
BIA Chairman Jawad Mohammed complimented the programme, extending his appreciation and gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for his directives.
He also thanked the CBB and the LMRA for their efforts to ensure the project’s success and emphasized that the insurance companies are prepared and ready to implement the programme, stressing that this project is an important step in the right direction to regulating domestic helpers in Bahrain.
"This product provides the necessary protection that guarantees the preservation of the interests of all relevant parties, including the employer, the domestic helper, and their heirs.” He said.
“The Bahrain Insurance Association and the Insurance companies are prepared to implement the programme and look forward to working with government authorities to provide the best possible services to the citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
The list of offices presently offering the service will be updated weekly. Citizens and residents can view the list on LMRA’s website at: www.lmra,bh or by calling the LMRA’s call centre on 17506055.