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Vacation time

Vacation time

Bahrain has just approved a proposal to increase the annual leave for private sector employees by a week. Predictably, businessmen and employers are annoyed.

January 14, 2010 2:35 by

Bosses in Bahrain are not happy. Earlier this week, the country’s Shura Council approved the parliament’s proposal to increase the annual leave for private sector employees from 24 days to 30 days, which has angered businessmen, reports Gulf Daily News.

“The more we work, the more money we make,” the vice-chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) contractors’ committee, Nedham Kameshki, told the paper. “We will end up being losers if we have any more holidays than we already have. If anything, these should be cut.”

The government has also clarified that public holidays for private sector workers will be determined by the cabinet. “In most cases whenever there is a public holiday, the private sector doesn’t adhere to it and forces employees to work on holiday,” said Labor Minister Majeed al-Alawi.

“We could have included public holidays in the law, but we decided to keep the authority with the cabinet, considering that adding any holiday would mean that the whole law would have to be changed, he said.

According to the report in Gulf Daily News, apart from the 24 days leave, private sector employees in Bahrain get up to 16 days off every year for occasions such as National Day, Ashura, the Islamic New Year and Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

“Why are we even thinking of anymore [holidays]?” Khalid al-Amin, BCCI’s youngest board member and chairman of its youth businessmen committee told the paper.”If we want to be self dependent and more productive, we have to think away from holidays.”

He also said that because of the current economic challenges, the country needs a competitive edge. “We are increasingly turning into a lazy nation and will soon get left behind,” he said.

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