Labor laws also referred to employment laws, are laws that protect the legal rights of employees and their organizations. These are aimed at solving disputes that exist among workers, employers, and unions. Labor laws are divided into two broad categories. The first category is referred to as collective labor laws. These are the laws that address the issues affecting unions, managers, and workers.
The second category is the individual labor laws. This category of labor laws is mostly concerned with the well-being of employees, their rights at work and their safe working conditions throughout their employment. It is important to note that the working environment is rapidly changing in today’s economic environment. As a result, labor laws have to be constantly reviewed to be up to date with the working environment (Neal, 2002).
Labor laws differ from one country to another. Although there might be similarities between labor laws of different countries, the laws are generally independent for each nation. In this essay, a comparison between labor laws in the Kingdom of Bahrain and labor laws in Turkey is carried out. More emphasis will be put on labor laws that affect women.
Labor Laws in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Regarding maternity leave, female employees have the right to get maternity leave whereby they go to deliver and nurture their young ones. The maternity leave should be at least forty-five days long. For those forty-five days, the employee should be on full pay. However, if the 45 days is extended, she may not be on pay for the extra days. When she resumes working, the female employee is given an extra one hour daily.
The one hour is given to her for nursing, and it is given for at least two years from the date of delivery (Russell, 2010). It is mandatory that all employees should have rest days. As a result, the law provides that workers should work for six days a week. They are also allowed for a vacation during public holidays.
There is also a provision for annual leave, which should be a minimum of 21 days per year and 28 days for workers who have served their organizations for over five years. For those who are Muslims, they are allowed two weeks every year to go for their religious duties. In case an employee is sick within the year, they are given a half a month leave. During this leave, they are usually paid in full.
In case they stay longer, for the next 20 days they are paid half wage. Any day beyond this is not paid for. The leave can be extended up to 182 days as directed by the medical commission (Information Affairs Authority, 2013). As regards to wages, women should enjoy equality of pay as their men counterparts. Women should also be allowed equal opportunities as men.
Over the years, there have been imbalances between men and women in the working place. However, recent laws have addressed this issue, and the trend has now improved. There is more representation of women in the high ranks. Women also enjoy more equity as compared to how it used to be in the past (Al Marzouqi & Forster, 2001).
For the general employment, wages in the Kingdom of Bahrain are defined as the total amount of remuneration that is payable to an employee in the form of cash or any other form as agreed between the two parties (employer and employee). This includes any additional increments, allowances, gratuities, and benefits.
The employer does not have the right to exclude specific payments when calculating the employees’ total remuneration since such exclusion is not enforceable under the labor law. However, there are some payments that may be excluded, such as phone bills, car costs and rent among others (Russell, 2010). The directions are given often to set the minimum remuneration for various industries.
About recruitment, laws in Bahrain demand that employers should give employment priorities to the Bahrain nationals ahead of other nationals. There are some sectors that have imposed the minimum ratio of Bahrain nationals to non-Bahrain nationals that should be adopted. However, employers should not discriminate employees based on their nationality; neither should they subject employees to any form of unfair treatment (Russell, 2010).
On the issue of employment contract, the contract should be composed of the terms of employment as agreed between the employer and the employee. The contract is entered for a specific period or for an indefinite period, which can be terminated on notice. The contract should be in writing and must be in line with the Bahrain labor laws; otherwise, it will be null and void (Russell, 2010).
Termination: An employment contract is automatically terminated if the prescribed duration elapses. The contract may, however, be renewed. If it was for an indefinite period, the contract should be terminated with at least 30 days’ notice given to the employee.
On termination of the contract, the employer should pay the statutory compensation to the employee if there is any. It is against the law to terminate the contract of a female employee based on marriage, pregnancy or maternity leave (Information Affairs Authority, 2013).
Labor Laws and Policies in Turkey
Turkish labor laws have been reviewed regularly as the working conditions keep changing. For instance, there is a recently enacted labor law that addresses the issue of maternity leave for women employees. In Turkey, a mother has the right to be granted maternity leave. The leave should be at least eight weeks before the date of delivery.
After delivery, the mother is then given an extra eight weeks leave, and an extra two weeks in case she gives birth to more than one baby. The mother is obliged to give a report from her doctor to the manager, indicating that the baby is under no risk if she wishes to work during the days before delivery. Upon submission of the report, the mother can work until three weeks to delivery.
After delivery, the mother can request an extra leave, which can be granted for up to 6 months. Upon resuming job, the mother is granted one and a half hours daily for one year. She is on full pay during the whole leave period (Çektir, 2008). Regarding wage, there has been a commission in Turkey that addresses the issue of the minimum wage.
The minimum wage for the Turkish employees, according to the commission, has been determined to be 978, 75 TRY for the first half of 2013 and 1021, 51 TRY for the second half of the year (Iskanunu, 2013). All employees are entitled to equal pay. Employees should not be discriminated based on sex, gender, religion, or political affiliation (Agartan, 2010).
Concerning work conditions, an employee is supposed to work for up to 45 hours per day, according to the reviewed Turkish labor law. The hours should be distributed equally among the working days. In case the employee works for extra hours, they should be paid as overtime hours. For each overtime hour worked, the worker is paid an extra 50% of his or her normal wage.
Alternatively, employees can be granted one and a half hours of free time during regular work time for every overtime hour worked. The total overtime hours should not be more than 270 hours (Invest.gov, 2011). Vacation: All employees should be given a paid leave for the official public holidays, as well as for the two religious holidays in the Turkish calendar.
Further, 14 days leave per year is given for workers who have been in service for a period of up to 5 years, 20 days for 5-15 years and 26 days for over 15 years. The leave period may be increased depending on the organization (Invest.gov, 2011).
Regarding termination, the contract is automatically terminated if the period covered elapses. Employment is only terminated for employees with a valid clause. For employees without a valid clause, termination should be done on notice to the employee. The employee should be paid all his dues on termination of contract or employment (Invest.gov, 2011).
Labor law is a wide topic that addresses the rights of employees. The laws differ from one nation to another. In some nations, the laws may have similarities. Over the last couple of years, laws have been reviewed to address the issues of women in a more comprehensive manner.
Labor laws in the Kingdom of Bahrain and those of Turkey have undergone a series of changes to keep them in line with the changing working conditions and to ensure good working conditions for employees. Employee productivity is proportional to the working conditions they are subjected to thus the conditions should be favorable.
Agartan, K. (2010). Turkey’s accession to the European Union and the Turkish Labor Movement. European Journal of Turkish Studies, 11(1). Web.
Al Marzouqi, A. H. & Forster, N. (2011). An exploratory study of the under-representation of Emirate women in the United Arab Emirates’ information technology sector. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 30(7), 544 – 562.
Çektir, B. (2008). Turkish labor law: Maternity leave. Today’s Zaman. Web.
Information Affairs Authority (2013). New labor law issued for private sector in line with public sector employment regulations: domestic workers to benefit. Media Center. Web.
Invest.gov (2011). Terms of employment. Invest in Turkey. Web.
Iskanunu (2013). Minimum wage is determined for 2013. Turkish Labour Law. Web.
Neal, A. C. (2002). Social dialogue, industrial relations and labour law. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.