Bahrain Payroll Outsourcing and PEO/GEO Services Leader Publishes Payroll & HR Insights for Bahrain
Mercans, a leading Bahrain payroll outsourcingPEO/GEOemployee leasingrecruitment and BPO services provider, has published its most recent Payroll & HR Insights for Bahrain. These insights provide an invaluable overview of the information every Payroll & HR specialist should know before setting up their HR and payroll functions in Bahrain or signing up with a payroll outsourcing or PEO/GEO services provider. Mercans’ summary of labor laws, tax and social security regulations in Bahrian allow you to navigate the local complexities and avoid pitfalls.

Mercans’ Bahrain Payroll Outsourcing Solutions

While this summary will serve you as a great guide, you should still get in touch with Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation on setting up fully compliant payroll and HR functions. Better yet, outsource your payroll and HR activities in Bahrain to Mercans and our Bahrain payroll outsourcing experts will ensure that your employees will always be paid on time and in accordance with the Bahrain regulations.

Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing solutions are unique and revolutionary:

  • Mercans is not an aggregator – your Bahrain payroll outsourcing services will be delivered by Mercans’ dedicated Bahrain payroll outsourcing team. No middlemen or subcontractors will ever see your confidential data.
  • We use our proprietary Bahrain payroll outsourcing software platform, that has been specifically designed to handle the complexities and requirements of Bahrain labor regulations.
  • Your data is always be secure with Mercans – Mercans is the only Bahrain payroll outsourcing provider with ISO 9001, 20000 and 27001 certifications; has passed SOC 1 and 2 (both Type 1 and 2) audits; is GDPR compliant and has successfully completed OWASP Type 3.0 penetration tests.
  • Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing software platform can be easily integrated with any global HRMS systems; i.e. Workday, SAP, SuccessFactors, Oracle, Dynamics, etc.
  • Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing fees are transparent and competitive – you will save 30-50% over the service fees of any other comparative Bahrian payroll outsourcing provider.

Mercans’ Bahrain PEO/GEO Services

If you are already too busy to deal with another country or do not have a local legal entity in Bahrain and need to hire staff there, then Mercans’ PEO/GEO services in Bahrain are the right solution for you. We will employ the staff on your behalf in Bahrain and will ensure the full compliance with the local regulations throughout the hire-to-retire cycle in Bahrain. Mercans’ recruitment and immigration specialists will even help you to find the right staff and complete their immigration process in the matter of days.

Mercans does not use any subcontractor’s to deliver Bahrain PEO/GEO Services. This ensures that your employees receive the highest quality support in Bahrain and our service fees are unbeatable.

1.0 Doing Business in Bahrain

1.1 Investing in Bahrain

Along with competitive costs, easy access to the rest of the Middle East and a well-established business infrastructure, you will find that Bahrain has experience in understanding the needs of foreign businesses and responding to them.

The government regards foreign investment as key to its Economic Vision “2030 long-term plan” for improving the competitiveness of the economy, creating skilled jobs for Bahrainis and enhancing living standards.  For this reason, the Bahraini Government is committed to building on their existing advantages, aiming to build the Middle East’s most attractive centre for business.

1.2 Registrations and Establishing an Entity

The company is required to have a legal entity established in order to process a payroll.

Some industries are prohibited in Bahrain (for example, gambling or the import and industrial use of restricted chemicals) whilst some industries are protected for investment by Bahraini Citizens; GCC citizens and Companies (for example, a diverse range of industries ranging from printing presses, accounting services and the import / export and sale of racing car fuel)

There are several types of company entities in Bahrain including:

  • Bahraini Shareholding Company (B.S.C) – Public
  • Closed Shareholding Company (B.S.C) – Closed
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Partnership Company
  • Simple Commandite
  • Commandite by Shares
  • Single Person Company
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • Holding Company

The Commercial Registration of companies can be done at the Bahrain Investors’ Centre.  The processing time for registering a business is estimated to be between one to three working days and must be renewed on an annual basis. For some commercial activities, a license or approval is required.

1.3 Banking

It is currently not mandatory to make employee salary payments from an in-country bank account. However, Bahraini government has announced plans to roll out Wage Protection Systems (WPS) in the near future. Upon the implementation of the WPS, employers will be required to process all salary payments locally through the WPS. Third-party payments can be either made through a local bank account or credit card.

Bank opening days and hours vary from branch to branch.  Generally opening days are Saturday – Wednesday or Sunday to Thursday and general opening times are from 07:30 – 13:00 and then 16:00 – 18:00.

1.4 Working Week

In accordance with the Bahrain labour law, the maximum working hours are 8 hour per day and 48 hours per week. The customary working week in Bahrain tends to vary between 40 and 48 hours depending on company policy. Office hours are usually from 08:30 or 09:00 to 17:30 or 18:00.  There are no differences in time keeping between summer and winter.  In the month of Ramadan, the working day is reduced to six hours and legally this should apply to all staff but many companies only apply it to Muslims who fast during daylight hours.

Friday is the Muslim rest day and if your company has a five-day working week the other day off will probably be either Thursday or Saturday.  Saturday is the more popular choice for international companies as taking Thursday off would mean a reduction in the number of operational days in common with much of the rest of the world.  Conversely, other companies insist on Thursday as the school ‘weekend’ is Thursday and Friday.

1.5 Basic Facts about Bahrain

General Information:

Full name: Kingdom of Bahrain

Population: 1.64 million (2019 estimate)

Capital: Manama

Major Language: Arabic

Major Religion: Islam

Monetary Unit: 1 Bahraini dinar = 1,000 fils

Main Exports: Petroleum and petroleum products, aluminium

GNI per Capita: US $44,700 (World Bank, 2018)

Internet Domain: .bh

International Dialling Code: +973

How to say: –

Hello مرحبا

Good morning صباح الخير

Good evening مساء الخير.

Do you speak English? هل تتكلم بالإنجليزية؟

Good bye وداعا

Thank you شكرا

See you later اشوفك بعدين

2.0 Tax & Social Security

As there are no income tax obligations in Bahrain, there is subsequently no tax year.

There are no tax deductions in Bahrain, however employees do contribute towards social security.  Bahraini Nationals and expatriates contribute towards SIO (Social Insurance Organization – official authority responsible for providing social insurance services).

Also, there is a regulated minimum salary for Bahraini Nationals (based on job description).

The SIO contribution for expatriates are typically paid by their employer; however, the employer has the right to deduct the SIO contributions from the employees’ salaries.

2.1 Income Tax

There is no individual income tax in Bahrain.

2.2 Social Security

The current rate of contributions to the SIO is 19% for local employees (12% employer; 7% employee) and 4% for expatriate employees (3% employer; 1% employee), subject to BD 4,000 per month contribution base maximum.

The employer’s contribution is 12% of gross wages for insurance against old age, disability and death (applicable only to Bahraini employees) and 3% of gross wages for insurance against employment injuries (applicable to all employees).

The employee’s contribution is 7% of gross wages for insurance against old age, disability and death (applicable to Bahraini employees only) and 1% of gross wages for insurance against un-employment.

SIO contributions are calculated by the authorities based on the contractual salaries reported by employers in January of the respective calendar year.

Monthly social security contributions must be paid by the 15th of every month.

2.3 Healthcare Fee

The Ministry of Health shall provide basic health care to all employees and employers are required to pay to the Ministry cost of such health care which is determined as follows:

  • BD 72 per annum in respect of every non-Bahraini worker.
  • BD 22.5 per annum in respect of every Bahraini worker.

Healthcare Fee is payable to the Ministry of Health as previously advised through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority by collecting it at the time of issuance and renewal of work permits in respect of non-Bahraini workers, and through the SIO in respect of Bahraini workers.

2.4 Reporting

As there are no income tax obligations, there is no monthly, quarterly or annual reporting to be adhered to, with the exception of the monthly and annual SIO declaration and contributions described above.

2.5 New Employees

Employers must register their employees in the Kingdom of Bahrain with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and receive a certificate of registration.

The employer must also register it’s employees with the Social Insurance Organization (SIO) and contributions must be paid monthly for compulsory insurances against old age, disability and death (for Bahraini employees only), and against work-related injuries including death (for all employees).

When an employee is hired the employer has to enlist with the Pension Authority.  This is generally managed by the legal firm and/or representative that are responsible for the legal registration of the company.

Each legal entity has guidelines stating the deadlines for registrations.

2.6 Leavers

On the termination of employment of a foreign national two things must be considered:

  • Leaving indemnity: An indemnity must be paid, which will depend on length of employment and whether it was the Employee or Employer that terminated the employment.
  • Plane ticket: The Employer pays for a plane ticket for the Employee to leave the country, to a location specified in the employment contract or to the country of the Employee’s nationality.

3.0 Payroll

It is legally acceptable in Bahrain to provide employees with online payslips.

3.1 Reports

It is not specified how long payroll reports must be kept for in Bahrain.

Article 25 of the Law of Commerce requires businesses to keep their commercial books and the documents supporting the entries made therein for a period of 10 years commencing from the date of the closing of books.

It also requires that all correspondence should be kept for a period of five years commencing from the date of despatch or receipt thereof.

4.0 Employment Law

4.1 Holiday Accrual / Calculations

Every worker who has completed one year’s continuous service with their Employer shall be entitled to leave on full pay for a period of not less than 21 days for each year which increases to a period not less than 28 days after five continuous years of service. A worker shall be entitled to such leave upon a quantum merit in respect of the proportion of their service in that year.  A worker may not waive their entitlement to leave nor receive the payment in lieu of taking their holiday entitlement.

An Employer is permitted to schedule the date of annual leave.  Such leave, other than the first half of the prescribed entitlement, may be taken at intervals with the consent of the worker.

An Employer may approve the deferment of the annual leave entitlement at the written request of a worker for a period not exceeding three years provided the worker shall take 10 consecutive days of his annual leave entitlement in each year.

4.2 Maternity Leave

A female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave on full pay for forty-five days which shall not be deducted from her annual leave provided she produces a medical certificate attested by the Ministry of Health stating the expected date of her confinement.  Such maternity leave shall include the period before and after confinement.

Further, she may have an additional leave without pay for 15 days.  When a female worker returns to her employment after maternity leave she shall be entitled to a period or periods of rest in order to feed her newly born child and the total of such periods shall not exceed one hour each day and shall be in addition to the normal intervals of rest granted to all the workers.

4.3 Paternity Leave

Paternity leave entitlement is up to five days after the birth.  There are no additional benefits.

4.4 Sickness

A worker who has satisfactorily completed the probationary period shall have the right, in case of sickness certified by a doctor nominated by the Employer or by the responsible doctor at any Government Medical Institution, to be granted the following sick leaves during every year:

  • 15 days on full pay
  • 15 days on half pay
  • 15 days without pay

In case of a disagreement as to the limitation of the duration of the medical treatment, a certificate signed by the responsible doctor at any Government Medical Institution shall be valid in this respect.

The entitlement of a worker to sick leave on full or partial pay may be accumulated for a period not exceeding 182 days.  In the event that the period of absence of a worker due to sickness exceeds their sick leave entitlement, such excess may be deducted from their annual leave entitlement.

5.0 Employee Benefits

5.1 Expenses

In Bahrain, expenses are not processed through the payroll.

6.0 Visas & Work Permits

All foreigners wishing to work in Bahrain must obtain work visas and permits.  The application for these documents should be made to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority prior to the applicant travelling to Bahrain.  It is advisable to go through an agent to apply for a working Visa on an Employee’s behalf as they will be familiar with all aspects of the process and will already know all the procedures involved in applying for the Visa.

Work Visa

Submitted to: Labour Market Regulatory Authority

Issued by: Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

Visa Application Requirements:

  • Visa Application Form
  • Employee’s passport
  • Passport size photograph
  • Sponsorship Letter: a letter of employment indicating Employer’s name/organization, commercial registration number, Employee’s capacity, salary, contract duration, Employee’s name, birth date and nationality
  • Copy of the contract
  • Health record from an authorised clinic
  • BD100 fee

Residency Permit (Family Visa)

Submitted to: Labour Market Regulatory Authority

Issued by: General Department for Nationality & Passport Residence

Residency Permit Requirements:

  • Application Form
  • Copy of the Employee & Employees family’s passport
  • Employee’s Sponsorship Letter
  • Employee’s Contract
  • Family health record from an authorised clinic
  • BD22 fee per applicant

CPR Card (Identification Card)

Submitted to: Central Informatics Organization

Issued by: Central Informatics Organisation.


  • Employee (or spouse) passport
  • Sponsorship letter stating names of dependents
  • Marriage certificate (for spouse) and birth certificate (for children)
  • BD1 fee per applicant

Bahrain Payroll Outsourcing

Make sure your employees are always paid accurately and on time with real-time access to your HR and payroll data by allowing Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing team to manage all aspects of your payroll function in Bahrain. Mercans’ cutting-edge HRBlizzTM payroll suite is intuitive and transparent: save time, and let technology do the hard work. Mercans’ Business Intelligence and HRIS integration tools tie all of your systems into a single harmonious platform.

Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing offering, leverages Mercans’ more than 20-year experience in delivering payroll outsourcing and PEO/GEO services in Bahrain. HRBlizzTM SaaS Global Payroll Suite features, designed for Bahrain payroll software and payroll outsourcing clients, include:

  • Integration Bahrain tax and social security systems and process.
  • Ability to generate electronic bank files for all major bank in Bahrain.
  • Built-in working hours rules in compliance with Bahrain labor law.
  • Holiday/annual leave calculations in accordance with Bahrain labor regulations
  • Sick pay calculations in accordance with Bahrain labor laws
  • Collective bargaining agreements related configurations and support.
  • Income tax calculations in accordance with Bahrain tax regulations
  • Tax calculations for non-resident individuals.
  • Foreign tax relief based tax credits.
  • Personal deductions and employment expenses support for tax calculations.
  • Fully configurable setup for unemployment, accident and group life insurances.
  • Customizable and configurable benefits plans.
  • Restricted Stock Units (RSU) tax calculation in accordance with Bahrain regulations.
  • Online Employee Self Service (ESS) for delivery of payslips.
  • Fully automated integration with the existing HRIS and third-party systems.
  • Wage type specific gross-to-net or net-to-gross calculations and simulations.
  • Customized calculations formulas for employee benefits.
  • In-kind benefits calculations.
  • Private pension plans administration.
  • Formula and eligibility driven calculations.
  • Automated conversions of annual compensation amounts to monthly, daily and hourly rates.
  • Wage type specific pro-rata calculation rules.

Bahrain PEO/GEO Services

React quickly to the market demands and deploy staff anywhere in the world in just days: this is Mercans’ global employee outsourcing and employee leasing services. Mercans PEO/GEO and employee leasing services in Bahrain provide you agility, increase your competitiveness and are easy to implement. There is no need for you to worry about setting up a local company, recruiting and payrolling staff. Enjoy the security of Mercans’ guaranteed compliance with the regulations in Bahrain. Mobilize any number of resources quickly— and focus on building your business while we take care of the rest.

Bahrain Talent Acquisition & Recruitment

Get access to a large pool of global and local talent in Bahrain, reduce time-to-hire, and improve hire quality all in one. Our Mesaar recruitment suite uses innovative matching and psychometric assessment tools to identify the best candidates for your business at record speed. Our consultants have extensive experience placing candidates across industries and organizational levels, and we have led executive searches and outsourcing mobilization projects for large multinationals involving thousands of candidates in Bahrain and other parts of the world.

Bahrain HR Advisory

Tap into the experience of our seasoned HR advisory team in Bahrain. Their expertise ranges from HR policies and procedures, salary benchmark studies, and HR due diligence to sophisticated HR transformation projects. Get a speedy and precise needs analysis, and have us design, implement, and monitor the execution of any project—carried out by subject-matter experts who understand your needs, and who know what it takes for your business to stay ahead of the competition.

Bahrain BPO Services

Make your business thrive and concentrate on the essentials and let Mercans’ business process outsourcing services minimize your administrative and overhead costs. Fully outsource your back-office functions to a team of HR, finance, accounting, immigration, and administration specialists. Our BPO team will take care of it all while you have the time and freedom you need to nurture your business.

Get in touch with Mercans’ Bahrain payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation!