The report is a discussion on the disadvantages of parking heavy-duty vehicles like trucks in the residential areas, the laws governing it and the necessary recommendations required for improving situations. There is also discussion on the disadvantages and advantages of child labor age law and the retirement age in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the necessary recommendations. The report also put forward the advantages and disadvantages of allowing the commercial registrar of employees on the government sector along with the necessary recommendations.
1. a. Disadvantages of Parking Trucks in Residential Areas
There are certain habits in drivers that remain thoroughly ingrained in a manner that they do not even consider these habits as dangerous or wrong. These drivers come to their senses whenever there is an occurrence of an accident because of their foolishness (Saleh and Kumar 2012). There are other habits of the drivers that although not dangerous but sometime can create potential problems on the road that are not problematic to the road users but at the same time patently unlawful. One such habit includes parking heavy-duty vehicles in residential areas
Parking trucks on residential areas not only hinders the movement of the vehicles but also leads to the disruption of the rhythm of life led by people. This is because parking lots around residential building meant for parking use of only the residents for ensuring parking close to their homes (Gehl and Svarre 2013). This heavy-duty truck often creates congestion thereby hindering normal flow of the vehicles in the residential areas. In addition to this, parking trucks also blocks the walking area in the residential area during particular times of the day. Further, the parking of trucks on the residential areas also creates disturbance in the neighborhood in terms of noise, dust, vibration, fumes and odor. The parking of heavy vehicles even can cause major damage to the infrastructures that is below as well as above the ground. Emergency service personnel denied access to infrastructure such as drainage pipes, gas, sewage, water and telecommunications if such heavy-duty vehicles parked in a residential locality. There may be cases where the pedestrians might be unaware of the oncoming truck that can lead to risk. Parking of the heavy-duty truck also provides restriction of access to the pram and wheelchair users.
Moreover, drivers must know that Heavy Trucks with a considerable length of 7.5 meters and weight of 4.5 tomes does not get permission for parking on the roads or in residential areas for duration more than an hour between sunrise and sunset (Serkin 2015). However, for parking such a vehicle on residential property requires obtaining permission from the local units of law.
In cases, where a homeowner wants to park a heavy truck in his residential zone that contained all the tools and equipments required for his business, he needs to regulate the parking regulations and determine if any permit is required. Further, it is also necessary for the drivers even if he is a resident of the area to review laws of the zone, regulations for parking, recorded covenants and knowledge about the history of property usage.
b. The Statement of the Law
The Traffic authorities of Bahrain have decided to impose restriction on the rush hour for the movement of the trucks and heavy vehicles for reducing congestion (Shaaban 2014). Thus, at the meeting of Traffic Council chaired by Interior Minister Lt Gen Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Kahlifa agreed on restriction of the movement of heavy vehicles from 6.30 am to 8 am and 2 pm to 3 pm. Further, the council also reviewed the relation that existed between number of accidents and vehicles and further recommended ways for dealing with traffic jams. There was also discussion on undertaking the development projects on roads for tackling traffic jams and improving public transport. There was also discussion on opening of 3,971new parking lots so that the heavy trucks do not get a scope for parking in the residential areas (Awadhalla et.al 2016). Further discussion on allocation of parking space in crowded localities were employed along with deployment of traffic patrols and placement of CCTV camera all possible locations.
However, decision on the layout design for an off-street car park should not only consider entire facility but also include circulation roadways, parking modules, access driveways including frontage road access as an integrated design (Ben-Hamouche 2013). However, traffic provision within a facility for parking will ensure taking into account the following:
- The requirement for traffic for moving to and from the frontage road with minimalistic traffic disruption and ensuring safety to the pedestrian
- Ensuring provision for sufficient capacity in the circulation roadways and the parking aisle for handling movements of the peak period
- Arranging internal roadways for avoiding conflicts between the intersecting streams of the traffic in circulation
- Ensuring safer treatments for conflict points with other road users and pedestrian
- Ensuring provision for parking spaces and accessible pathways for disabled people
The parking of a heavy vehicle like Truck that exceeded 3 ton weight should put forward an application for development where in the development applications of parking for the heavy vehicles will fall in the category of 1 or 3 implying the impact in the amenity of the localities and impact on the properties of neighborhood (Alsabbagh 2015). The applications should include the operational details and whether it is to be loaded or unloaded when parked. There should be mention of the fact that whether any repair work or any kind of servicing is necessary on the parking site. Further, there should also be a mention of whether the driver will be residing in the site of parking. Moreover, there should be adequate space for parking the truck so that they do not impose problems in the residential area. The heavy-duty vehicle should find parking in a location that is convenient and safe for all. Before, parking the vehicle in front of any residential area there should be adequate care on the driveways that leads to the parking zone and is able to withstand the weight of the vehicle thereby minimizing dust. The parking of the vehicle should not cause any sort of disturbance to the adjoining neighborhood in terms of fumes, vibration, odor, dust and noise. Further, any kind of maintenance activities must be of minor nature (Hayhoe 2014). There should not be any transshipment of the freight carried out in the residential property. Further, the entry of these heavy-duty vehicles should maintain a particular time for parking on normal days and on national holidays.
2a. Advantages of Child Labor Age Law
In Bahrain, only a small number of children perform non-hazardous task in Manama Central Market and few of these children work in family businesses (Murray 2013). Therefore, the Child Labor Age Law of Bahrain forbids employment of children who are younger than 14 years. Provided if minors in the age group of 14 to16 made to work then they must not work more than 6 hours per day that would include one hour of rest during the daytime. The law also mentions that minors should not work on an overtime basis and made a payment on a piece rate basis. There are a list of occupations mentioned in the law including quarrying, oil refining, construction, butchering and any work involving lifting of heavy loads or provides direct contact with asbestos, furnaces, explosives, cranes, electricity, poisonous dust, vapors and fumes. Moreover, the concept of compulsory labor outlawed and the employers found guilty of using the forced labor can land up with 10 years of imprisonment (Karolak 2012.). The law also mentions prostitution under the age of 18 to be illegal and is punishable with an imprisonment that varies from three to ten years. The law also mentions that child pornography should not be a part of publications, pictures and other forms of media that in a way violates morale of the public. The law also mentions that crimes related to trafficking prosecuted. The law also mentions that children from the age of 17 years can be a part of the Bahrain Defense Force.
b. Disadvantages of Child Labor Age Law
The Child Labor Age Law does not completely outlaw child pornography although it mentions punishment for any kind of illegal print related to child pornography, display publication and other media forms that leads to violation of public morals. This can sometimes lead to forced child labor for the purpose of pornography (Khan 2014). Moreover, the law also does not prohibit trafficking but ensures prosecution in terms of crime related to trafficking. This loophole provides a medium for people to indulge in criminal activities that include forced prostitution, abduction, kidnapping and exposing children to danger.
The Child Labor Law of Bahrain should be more stringent in terms of pornography and trafficking. Further, Bahrain must mention that the working age to be 15 for avoiding issues related to child labor and at the same time ensuring that the students complete their education before venturing into the workforce (Al-Ghanim 2012). Mostly the children from the marginalized or improvised communities mostly opt for child labor therefore; Kingdom of Bahrain should ensure enough aids to the families for survival so they do not send their children to work as labor.
d. Advantages of Retirement Age Law
The Kingdom of Bahrain has a new labor law that has increased the retirement age from 60 to 65 or even 70 mentioned by Supreme Health Council president Lieutenant General and chairman of Al Hekma Society for Pensioners, Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa. The average increase in life expectancy in the Kingdom of Bahrain rose up to 65 for men and 77 for women result of the availability of quality health services (Juhmani 2012). The increase in the retirement age will lead to a decrement of the pressure on the pension funds run by the general authority for retirement that eventually rose after the increase in the number of retired employees who had investment in fund assets and scarcity in revenues on either a real estate or financial aspect. The increase in the retirement age for the women also encouraged women to join the work force who initially faced restrictions of work hours and conditions.
e. Disadvantages of Retirement Age Law
Considering the environment in Bahrain that is not only tough with summer temperature summer ranging up to 45 degrees, expecting such high life expectancy is not possible. The tough conditions might not allow the people to survive until the age of retirement.
Moreover, the new labor law has imposed certain stringent measures for the employees that calls for termination of the employee for their poor performance leaving little scope for survival in the job and continue until the retirement. In such cases, the termination of the employees depends on a notice period of 60 days, considered sufficient for judging their poor performance (De Silva de Alwis 2014). Moreover, such termination does not include any compensation. Further, the employees made to face tough penalties for not complying with the laws that might ensure imprisonment of the employees up to three months. Under, such stringent Labor Laws, the employees might be unable to continue the job and enjoy the retirement benefits although there might be leniency in retirement age law of the Kingdom of Bahrain (Pallares-Miralles, Romero and Whitehouse 2012).
The increase in the retirement age will enable the workers to claim the entire retirement benefits. This increment can also increase social security solvency. This is necessary for getting advantage in health care. The implementation of policies is in a manner so that no employees deprived of their desired benefits. The increase in the age of retirement will also enable the employees to get better coverage in insurance against death, old age and disability where they contribute only 6% that can increase to 8 % after the age of 50 (Ebrahim 2016). This increment will also give the employees employment benefits in the form of insurance and discard the fear of losing their job by increasing their contribute from 1% to 10% so that people losing the job at an older age due to the stringent labor policies does not feel lost. Thus, though there have been laws for increment in the retirement age, certain policies should also be implemented to take care of adverse situations.
3a. Advantages of Allowing Commercial Registrar of Employees in Government Sector
Commercial Registrar of employees in the government sector refers to the prerequisites for ensuring activities related to business and employment along with a provision of submitting a complaint or feedback.
The commercial company’s law ensures providing the government sector with foreign capital. There are certain restrictions on some business activities in Bahrain whereas some activities especially cater to the Bahraini nationals. However, there is restriction on certain real estate services, services related to publication and press, printing services, operation and management of film distribution and cinema theatres, television and film services, land transportation of passengers, tourist and goods, domestic sea cruises, hajj and umra services, car rentals, foreign supply of work force, small business activities and commercial agencies(Zalatar, 2012). However, the business activities solely meant for the nationals of Gulf Co-operation (GCC) and the Bahrainis include accounting and bookkeeping services, export, import and sale of fuel for racing car, clearing of cargo and fishing. Moreover, restrictions also apply for trading that requires a Bahrani partner with a minimum ownership of 51%. The national entities of GCC require at least one Bahraini partner with the travel agencies and tourist office asking for the requirement of a Bahrani partner. In case of medical centers and clinics, licenses only confirmed to the citizen of Bahrain with the required medical qualification. In addition to this, Pharmacies also needs to have a Bahrani Pharmacist for effective operation.
According to the recently amended commercial law companies needs to be partly or fully owned by a shareholder of non-Bahraini origin for practicing activities for nationals of Bahrain where the nationals have a majority of share hold. The ministers of the council help in determining the activities that the foreign ownership companies must undertake (Saleh 2012). There is also a necessity of approval from the council of ministers and minister of commerce for the operation of the companies with substantial foreign capital that might result in a return that is profitable for the economy of Bahrain.
However, as far as employees are concerned the contracts must be in the written form otherwise the employee can ensure establishment of rights through the available evidences. Thus, the acquirement of the right of an employee can be through the employment contract in the government sector, through labor regulations or according to the practice and customs. Therefore, the important particulars of the contract include the employer’ commercial registration number, address and employer’s name (Nunn 2012). There is also a mention of employee name date of birth, position, qualification, address, identification and nationality. The contract will also mention the type and nature if the work along with the duration of the employment. The privileges, salaries and time and mode of payment is also finds a mention in the contract. The contract also has mention of the implied terms or collective agreements that apply in maintaining the employee relationship provided they are more beneficial than the provisions of the labor law.
b. Disadvantages of Allowing Commercial Registrar of Employees in Government Sector
The commercial registrar of employees in the government sector has certain restrictions. Restrictions involves in doing business in Bahrain (Bruhn 2013.). For instance, business within the free trade zone requires obtaining permission from the authorities of the free zone before the commencement of the activities. Moreover, the companies for import and export that only has the requirement of an office in Bahrain also needs to get their registration done with the free trade zone. However, there are various incentives in the form of government rebates and custom duties only for the companies allotted the permission. This particular rule is thereby forcing companies to think twice before they enter the market of Bahrain even though it would have been for the betterment of the economy of Bahrain. Moreover, the stringent commercial laws only provide permission for the registration of a Bahraini branch without setting a subsidiary that might also involve huge amount of cost (van Zuuren et.al 2014). The Bahraini branch considered 100% foreign owned if the operations of the parent company is open to the foreign shareholders. Moreover, it is necessary for the parent company to issue a check of specified amount to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy. Once the parent company have a branch in Bahrain then only it is permitted for securing the business premises, invoicing customers of Bahrain, signing the local contract for sales as well as income from the clients. Moreover, the business needs to appoint a local Bahrain distributor or agent for sponsoring the visas and certain licenses required for operation. However, in order to register for a branch that parent company should not only undertake translation into Arabic and at the same time ensure legalizing the audited financial statements (Karolak 2012). They also need to undertake the resolution of the Board in authorizing to open a branch. The company must also ensure that they have the memorandum of association and the necessary incorporation certificate. Therefore, a company has to go through a rigorous process for planning to establish a branch in Bahrain.
The Kingdom of Bahrain imposes various restrictions on the type and kind of business carried out in the country. If a particular business is interested in having a branch in Bahrain and abide by the commercial laws imposed by it then the business can enjoy the extensive benefits mentioned in the following paragraph.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has the components and expertise that is necessary for understanding the required needs of the international investors (Mohammad and Job 2012). Bahrain not only provides competitive prices, increased accessibility of the market, ensure modern infrastructure and legislations for the labor. The country provides a business opportunity on terms of its strategic location, which is at the heart of the gulf region of Arabia, thereby ensuring easy accessibility into the Middle East market at an economically feasible option. Moreover, the kingdom of Bahrain considered as the top rated in the economic freedom index with the commitment of providing a business environment. Bahrain also offers low cost, considered one of its advantages as they provide lowest rent rates for industrial plots and offices (Mohammad and El-Masri 2012). Moreover, the workforce of Bahrain considered one of the most experienced and educated in the Gulf region. This enables minimizing the burden on investors for recruiting and retaining foreign expertise who will ensure in contributing in building experienced and committed work team locally that will be retainable in the end. The Kingdom of Bahrain also allows repatriation and transfer of capitals and profits. There is also freedom for importing and exporting the foreign as well as local currencies. The Kingdom of Bahrain imposes no income, capital, sales, interest and concession right tax. The country also has a commercial arbitration centre for settling all the commercial disputes. Further, foreigners allowed for practicing most of the business activities at the rate that is 100%.
The report ends with a discussion on the recommendations and the advantages and disadvantages of allowing the commercial registrar of employees on the government sector. There is also discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of the child labor age law and retirement age law of Bahrain along with necessary recommendations. Further, the report also recommends and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of parking heavy-duty vehicles in residential areas.
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