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Social Security

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain requires the provision of social security for retired citizens, those ill or disability, orphanage workers, widows or the unemployed. This provision is in keeping with the decree issued by HM King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa on the 22nd of November 2006 (Decree Law No. 78 of 2006), and places Bahrain's social services on par with developed countries world-wide.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance covers:

  1. Civil servants are covered by the insurance provisions for work injuries in accordance with provisions of the law on retirement pensions and bonuses for government employees.
  2. National workers who are covered by the provisions of the National Insurance for work injuries in accordance with the provisions of the Social Insurance Law.
  3. Job seekers for the first time.

The positive aspects of this project are expected to be:

  1. Assisting the unemployed materially during their search for work.
  2. Calculating the exact size of unemployment in the country.
  3. Determining the exact qualifications of the unemployed and the characteristics of unemployment on an ongoing basis.

The government-launched programme to reduce unemployment consists of five points:

  1. Activation of the fourth item in the social insurance law by introducing a social security system for the unemployed (unemployment insurance) .
  2. Training and development of Bahraini manpower.
  3. The recruitment and replacement of the Bahraini employment in the private sector and organise the expatriates.
  4. Organising the expatriates according to the labour market needs and a plan to develop national human resources.
  5. Continuous work on the revision and development of laws and procedures governing the labour market and ensure their application.

Unemployed Bahraini citizens may register at the Ministry of Labour and Social Development . The ministry will help them to get a job that match their qualifications; failing that, they will receive unemployment insurance.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development provides guidance for employers on the best ways to be followed to improve working conditions, raise awareness and enhance the concepts of preventive occupational health and safety among workers, and ensure that expatriate labour recruited remain in their field to prevent any manipulation or abuse of the laws regulating the workforce in the country.

Work Permits

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development grants work permits for house maids and personal drivers, depending on the number of current house maids per household. Once all the required documents are presented, work permits can be obtained in less than a week.

Work permits for companies and government agencies are granted by The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) .


The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) is an independent public corporation fully authorized to regulate the labour market in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with a view to create a balanced mutual work relationship that protects both employers and employees.

By virtue of Act No.(19) (2006) with regard to the regulation of the labour market, LMRA is empowered with comprehensive jurisdiction to issue and regulate licenses to workers, labour recruitment agencies, employment bureaus, and foreign employers carrying on business in Bahrain.

The Legal Control Directorate of LMRA, ensures that the labour market regulatory Act, No. (19) (2006) are enforced, and all decisions and regulations are fairly and appropriately applied.

Services rendered by LMRA to foreign employees

  • Issue and renew work permits, and regulate transfer of employees from one employer to another.
  • Coordinate with relevant authorities to Issue residence, entrance, re-entrance visas and identity card for the foreign employee and his family.
  • Coordinate with the Ministry of Health to fix medical examination dates and issue health certificate to insure fitness and freedom from contagious diseases.

Flexible Work Permit

The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) launched the Flexible Work Permit for foreign workers working in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The permit is issued for a period of two years and enables an individual to be his/her own sponsor.

The permit holder is given a special blue card that should be renewed free-of-charge every six months. Permit holders are free to work anywhere of their choice except in restaurants, salons and hotels. They are also entitled primary health care at all government health centers and hospitals.

Permit holders can work as part timers or full timers. The permit is meant for workers who are illegal residents in Bahrain.


The initial payment for obtaining the Flexi Permit is BD449 for a 2 years validity; this includes BD144 health care fees, a one-time payment of BD90 as return flight ticket insurance that can be refunded in case the permit holder wishes to return home and a BD15 fee for residency extension. In addition to the initial payment, there is a monthly payment of BD30, which can be paid at any branch of the Bahrain Financing Company (BFC).

Foreign workers in Bahrain wishing to benefit from the flexible permit can visit the LMRA website and use the express service feature or send an SMS to 33150150 including the worker’s personal number. Alternatively, they may contact the call center for the Flexible Work Permit on 17103103. 

Apply for Job Vacancies

The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) allows job seekers to apply for jobs by filling out an employment application form. For more details, please visit CSB's Job Application Page .

Page Last Updated: 28 Aug, 2017