Bahrain has banned discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace under recent amendments to its labour law, according to the country’s labour minister.
Jamil bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan said decree law number 95 issued by monarch King Hamad made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on sex, origin, language, religion or creed, Bahrain News Agency reported.
The law also criminalises sexual harassment at work “by reference, speech, act or by any other means” and guarantees wages are paid to workers according to specific mechanisms.
Ali Humaidan said the changes would intended to harmonise national legislation with international conventions and labour standards including International Convention No. 111 of 1985 on Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation.
He warned that employers would face penalties if found to engage in discrimination or if they fail to pay wages on time.
The sexual harassment law will also see both the employee accused of the act and the employer punished if it is proven.
Bahrain elected a new parliament last month as the government prepares to push through austerity measures to cut the country’s budget deficit.
The country released a fiscal plan last month under the terms of a financial support package offered by its allies.