Doing Business With a Bahrain PEO

Background Checks / Employee Screening In Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain, with its geographical compactness, offers a supportive business environment with a rapidly growing economy and a promise of exciting investment opportunities. 

Among the union of the six Arab states bordering the Gulf known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bahrain has the most diversified economy. With its allowance of 100% foreign ownership in most of the non-oil sector and it being the gateway to GCC’s 1.4 trillion dollars market, Bahrain has the potential to become the most favorable hub for foreign investment. 

If you wish to expand your venture or invest in Bahrain, make sure you are up to date with the labor laws and employment regulations. This article deep dives into the intricacies of employment background check in Bahrain. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

A comprehensive employee background screening in Bahrain comprises a third party or the company’s HR department running a thorough check on a potential recruit’s past employment and civil records, criminal and financial records, social media activities, and education degree verification. 

This helps employers determine if the concerned individuals are trustworthy and can bring value to their organization. 

To summarize, a pre-employment background check in Bahrain helps businesses to:

  • Review the submitted resume and employee documents to check for the authenticity
  • Safeguard the company from liability issues and protect company assets
  • Improve the overall quality of the hiring process
  • Averting the prospect of employing risky candidates
  • Uphold a safe and secure work environment for all workers

Benefits of Background Checks in Bahrain

Running background checks for employees in Bahrain presents several advantages for recruiters.

  • Enhance the quality of your recruitment procedure by hiring contenders with glowering qualifications and experiences.
  • Reviewing criminal records will assist you in weeding out candidates with serious offenses, making the workplace safe.
  • A thorough screening process will prevent the hiring of negligent applicants with false qualifications, enhancing your company’s competitiveness.
  • Safeguard your company from future legal troubles and other liabilities.
  • Pre-employment background checks on prospective hires will drastically reduce your employee turnover rate.
  • It will help you evaluate employees’ trustworthiness and work ethics before giving them positions of eminence in your company.

Are Background Checks Legal in Bahrain?

Foreign employees must take prior approval from the Bahrain Ministry of Interior and the Labor Market Regulatory Authority before hiring on local employee contracts. The level of background checks for employees in Bahrain depends on the nationality and the proposed position of the individual. 

In Bahrain, the employees usually supply the required information as employers might not be able to obtain the information without the employees’ consent. A Certificate of Good Conduct from the Criminal Investigation Directorate will usually suffice for employee verification. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Bahrain

While hiring, recruiters may face common issues such as fibbing in resumes, cases of fraudulent documents, or impersonation. Thus, hiring managers must be vigilant throughout the recruitment process. They must run mandatory identification checks, verify the authenticity of submitted documents, and conduct regular social media checks.

The pre-employment background check in Bahrain is a meticulous process where the recruiters carefully examine all documents provided by their new recruits and check their authenticity. It helps employers eliminate imposters, individuals having dubious employment or past criminal records, or those with fraudulent documents. 

The employee screening in Bahrain involves verifying and reviewing the following databases and sources:

Nationwide criminal records

Employers can conduct a criminal background check in Bahrain with the help of the Court of Cassation set up by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in Bahrain. Results will show reports of felony-level convictions within the past seven years, along with case number, file location and date, charge, sentencing, and disposition information. 

Bankruptcy records

Employee background screening in Bahrain includes conducting bankruptcy record checks through the local courts under which the jurisdiction of the relevant cities falls. The report will include the name of the court where the case was filed, the filing date, the case number, and status (if there is one). 

Civil records

Employers can conduct the civil records search through the local courts under which the jurisdiction of the relevant cities falls. A background check report will include the filing date of the case and type, the name of the court where the claim was filed, dependant, plaintiff, and disposition of the case (if there is one). 

Education history 

Employers must run a background check on the educational history of potential employees on their resumes.  Employee education history verification includes verifying the provided degree, checking graduation date, and attendance records of candidates from the institutions mentioned in their resumes.  

Global monitor check

Employers can make use of the Global Monitor Check (GMC), a database product that scours an assortment of databases, including the list of International Police Most Wanted, Terrorists Inside and Outside of European Union, State Department Terrorist Exclusions, US Bureau of Industry and Security, Bank of England Sanctions, World Bank Ineligible Firms, etc. 

Employment verification and professional reference check

Verifying past employment is mandatory for all employers since about 40% of resumes are found to be providing fraudulent information. Standard employee verification reports of HR background checks in Bahrain include all information regarding employment background and reference checks as provided in the resumes. Hiring managers can connect with the previous employers to verify the authenticity of a new employee.

Good conduct certificate 

Employees can request a Good Conduct Certificate issued by the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation at the Ministry of Interior of Bahrain in exchange for a service fee of 1 BHD (2.65 USD). This is the most commonly requested document by all employers operating in Bahrain. 

Social media check

Assessing the social media behavior of applicants has become crucial for employers. Running social media checks on potential employees reveals their behavior on social media, how they present themselves online, the discussions they participate in, or the groups, pages, and forums they frequent. However, Bahrain’s background check law mandates that employers can only scrutinize the social media activities their employees engage in at the workspace and not how they spend their time at their leisure. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Bahrain

Employee background screening in Bahrain is common practice in the corporate sector.

By looking up and verifying their past employment records, educational qualifications, finances, criminal and civil records, and social media activities, employers can assess the ethics, character, and professional integrity of an employee. 

Furnishing fraudulent documents or making falsified or exaggerated claims in resumes are common issues that all recruiters face. Hence, HR teams must run necessary background checks before hiring. In addition, a screening process helps employers eliminate candidates who presented fake documents, made false claims regarding qualifications, fabricated stuff in their resumes, or resorted to other dishonest means to get the job. 

Employers must comply with Bahrain background check law while asking applicants to furnish documents for employee screening. They can also reach out to relevant educational institutions, nationally accredited agencies, and police authorities to run a pre-employment background check in Bahrain. 

Employers can ask prospective employees to produce the following documents:

  • Full name as written in official documents
  • Permanent and temporary addresses
  • A recent photograph of the applicant
  • Date of birth as written in official documents
  • Relevant degrees, mark sheets, certificates of educational qualification 
  • Finance documents such as debts, loans, mortgages, payment defaults (if any)
  • Bahrain citizenship certificate (if applicable)
  • Visa details (in case of non-native applicants)
  • Good Conduct Certificate issued by the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation 
  • Employment references from past and present employers (including payslips, offer letter(s), release forms, and letters of recommendation)
  • Statutory declaration of ongoing criminal proceedings or past criminal convictions (if any)

Process Involved in Background Checks in Bahrain

Employee screening is a standard norm that organizations perform according to federal labor laws and regulations. However, the rules regarding the verification process may differ according to the nature of the industry and as deemed fit by the HR department of a company. 

An overall view of the process of company background check in Bahrain is listed below:

Get consent from the applicant

Even though running a pre-employment employee background check is a standard practice in the corporate world, HR teams must notify the applicant before conducting the checks. If possible, employers should get written consent before the process to save themselves from future legal troubles.  

Determine the details required to be gathered

The second step of the procedure is deciding the details employers may need to assess a candidate’s competency. Set definite policies regarding the background check process for the HR department to abide by while amassing essential information. Some preliminary documents and information employers must collect are:

  • Educational qualifications
  • Past employment history
  • Criminal and Civil records 
  • Citizenship certificate (for natural residents)
  • Good Conduct Certificate
  • Finance details and credit reports
  • Social media activities 
  • Visa details (for non-native candidates)

Collect the relevant documents/information

After gathering the required documents and information, employers must connect with the relevant authorities and nationally accredited agencies for data verification. Going through proper channels may seem tedious but is mandatory to avoid legal hassles. Seek help from government agencies such as the national e-government portal of Bahrain, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain. 

Perform the background check

After fulfilling all the necessary formalities, employers can conduct the final background check process to verify all details offered by candidates. 

For instance, connecting with past educational institutions will help employers check the academic credentials of their employees. Similarly, the Court of Cassation set up by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in Bahrain will allow employers to check a candidate’s national criminal records. 

Employers can run a search on popular social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Linkedln, Twitter, etc., to check an employee’s social media presence. They can also verify the candidates’ permanent residency details or visa information on the Ministry of Interior of Bahrain’s website for nationality, passport, and residence affairs. 

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Bahrain

While there are minimal restrictions on employee screening in Bahrain, due to privacy issues and lack of documentation, employers cannot source much information here compared to other countries. 

However, running a pre-employment background check is mandatory for some sectors like education, finance, and health. Due to obvious reasons, these industries must be extra cautious while recruiting new candidates. 

Some industries that run background checks in Bahrain on employees are:

  • Educational institutions 
  • Healthcare
  • Legal firms
  • Government services
  • Finance sector

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks?

Multiplier is a one-stop solution for challenges corporations face while setting up their businesses on foreign soil. Our team of in-house legal experts can help you with compliant global employment. Since we operate in over 150 countries, our team is well-versed with Bahrain’s labor laws – you need not worry about the risks concerning global employment and hiring abroad.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Employees must submit a Good Conduct Certificate issued by the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation at the Ministry of Interior of Bahrain. This is usually the most requested document for a background check in Bahrain and can be obtained by employees in exchange for1 BD (2.65 USD) payable to the Ministry of Interior.

Depending on the amount of information requested and the type of agencies employed, running a complete background check in Bahrain may take around 7-10 days. The timeline may vary from company to company, based on the data collected.

Employers can gather relevant information regarding federal criminal charges with the help of the Court of Cassation set up by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in Bahrain.

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