Country Information

The Kingdom of Bahrain is in the Persian Gulf. The country is made up of roughly 40 small islands with the main Bahrain Island representing the majority of the country’s landmass. The official language is Arabic although English is widely spoken. Bahrain has one of the fastest growing economies in the Arab world. Financial services and banking are the premier industries in Bahrain. An investment-friendly government, economic stability, and its strategic location makes Bahrain a destination for international expansion.

Employment Contracts

An employment contract must be written and contain the basic terms of the work salary, work hours, workplace location, responsibilities, bonuses and various consents for probation, annual leave, other types of leave, notice, overtime and dismissals. An employment contract can be for fixed-term or permanent, and the employer can terminate the contract by providing notice, or if the specific project has come to an end. Employers can request that the employee presents a Certificate of Good Conduct from the Criminal Investigation Directorate.

Working Hours

The standard workweek is between 40 to 48 hours, with eight hours per day. Muslim employees work six hours a day during Ramadan. The working week is Sunday to Thursday, and overtime is paid at a percentage above the regular wage, and a different percentage above the regular wage if at night.

Sick Leave

Employees receive up to 55 days of sick leave a year. The pay for these days is on a sliding scale with 15 days at full pay, 20 days at half pay and a further 20 days without pay. These days do not roll over to another year.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 75 days of maternity leave. The first 60 days are at full pay if they can produce a medical certificate. The remaining 15 days are unpaid leave. They cannot return to work for 40 days after giving birth .They are also entitled to two breast-feeding breaks of an hour each, for up to six months after birth. Male employees receive a day of paternity leave.


There is no legally mandated minimum wage for private companies. Those working in the public sector must receive at least 300 BHD a month. Employees receive a holiday bonus that is 50% of their base monthly salary during the holiday period, and a bonus of 50% base salary for December after a year of service.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive 30 days of vacation leave. During the first year of employment, an employee may take 2.5 days of leave per month of service. Employees receive three days of paid leave for their wedding. Muslim employees receive 14 days of paid leave for a pilgrimage after five years of service.

Public Holidays
  • New Year’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Eid Al Fitr
  • Eid Al-Adha
  • Hijri New Year
  • Ashoora
  • Prophet’s Birthday
  • National Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Most people access primary healthcare, and this is free for Bahraini citizens whereas foreigners pay per visit.

Employment / Termination / Severance

The probation period is capped at three months, and fixed term contracts are capped at 60 months. The notice period is 30 days, and employees with at least three months of service receive severance pay, with two days of salary for each month served. Employees receive an end of service payment if they are not covered by social security. They receive two weeks for each year of service up to three years, and then a month for each further year. If an employer terminates a contract within three months of employment, the employee isn’t entitled to any compensation. For an unfair dismissal, the employee receives a month of pay as compensation. Employers can terminate an employee for poor performance. They must give the employee two months to improve their performance. If terminated, the employee will not receive compensation .Employers can terminate employees for economic reasons if they provide 30 days of notice and severance pay. Employees can also be terminated for falsifying their identity, misconduct, failure to follow instructions and warnings, being absent for 10 days without notifying their employer, if they are not medically fit to work, if they have committed a crime such as sexual harassment or assault, both verbal and physical, or if the employee commits a criminal offence at work.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Bahrain, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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