Expat numbers drop in Bahrain

Statistics show 4% drop in expat Social Insurance Organisation contributors

Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyline with Bahrain World Trade Center in Manama, Bahrain.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyline with Bahrain World Trade Center in Manama, Bahrain.

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Bahrain - The number of expatriates contributing to the nation’s Social Insurance Organisation (SIO) has dropped in the past five years, according to latest indicators, suggesting a surge of people leaving these shores.

Figures released for the second quarter of the year showed a four per cent drop in the number of non-Bahraini SIO contributors that reached 456,840 (including females) compared with 477,741 workers last year – more than 20,000 in 12 months.

The number is more staggering when compared to four years ago with a drop of almost 60,000 foreign workers packing their bags in comparison.

The figures for 2018 were 497,366, 503,210 in 2017 and 516,474 private sector expatriate staff in 2016.

A breakdown of the constant drop in the number of non-Bahraini SIO contributors since 2016 has been documented in the new report

The total number of work-related injuries recorded by the SIO from 2016 until Q2 2020

The drop is reportedly attributed to the Bahrainisation push by authorities and the result of several expats losing their jobs due to the pandemic this year.

Deductions are made monthly from the salary of Bahrainis (19 per cent of their salary including allowances) and expats (4pc of salary with allowances – 3pc being the employer share and 1pc by the employee) by companies as part of SIO contributions.

For Bahrainis, the deductions are only paid after their retirement or dismissal, while for expatriates there is a provision of end-of-service indemnity.

Further breakdown of the statistics in the report shows that 72pc (330,111) expat contributors during the second quarter of the year earned less than BD200 followed by 14pc (65,161) who earned between BD200 to BD399.

Expats aged 60 and above accounted for 2pc, or 8,506 individuals employed in the private sector.

The total number of Bahraini contributors in both sectors reached 144,511 at the end of the second quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the government body highlighted a total of 501 injuries in the private and public sector that included 261 among Bahrainis and 240 registered among non-Bahrainis during the second quarter of the year.

Comparatively, a total of 177 Bahrainis and 168 expatriates were injured in the first quarter of the year.

The data compiled by the SIO showed that out of the 501 work-related injuries – 418 alone were in the private sector.

The causes of the 418 injuries included slips and falls (76), collisions with moving machinery (34), hit by falling objects (40), falling from high places (22), entrapment (24), collision with other objects (15), hot objects (7), traffic accidents (7), heavy lifting (13), cut by hand-held tools (12), cut by machinery (14), penetration of sharp objects (8) and 146 listed under ‘others’.

“Seventy-eight per cent of the total work-related injuries in the public sector were worksite accidents, 21pc road accidents and 1pc due to fatigue and stress and occupational disease,” said the SIO report.

No death or disability was recorded in the second quarter of the year.

The government agency stated the total number of pensioners and beneficiaries reached 91,179 in both the sectors with 46pc of them being females.

The average monthly pension during the second quarter of the year was BD746.

The GDN reported recently that the Cabinet approved a new census dated up to March 17, 2020, that recorded Bahrain’s population at 1,501,635 with 712,362 (47.4pc) nationals and 789,273 (52.6pc) non-Bahrainis.

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