This article is meant for employer but not employee.
Have you ever terminated an employee lawfully and yet the said employee then lodged complain to Industrial Court to seek for reinstatement or compensation in lieu of reinstatement from your company?
What do we meant by lawful termination?
A company normally terminate the employee due to the said employee conduct serious misconduct which against their company handbook or code of conduct. However, in order to convince the Court that the said company has lawfully terminated the employee, there are few steps the company need to take care of :-
First, since there is allegation of misconduct, the employer must make sure that there is verbal or written warning letter. The purpose of serving a warning letter to the employee is to make sure that the said employee understand the misconduct and he is given chance to rectify the mistake and the same time the employee is given right to be heard by giving the chance to explain the misconduct. It is always encouraged that if the said employee is conducting the said misconduct again, a second warning then need to be issued. Of course, the above advice will be different if the employment agreement said the otherwise.
Second, after issuing warning letter, the company should issue a show cause letter to the employee of the said misconducts are continuing. The purpose of the show cause letter is the ensure the employee is given a chance to explain again the said misconducts and of course is up the management of the employee to accept or reject the said explanation.
Third, conduct a due inquiry. A panel of “judge” who is not involving in the managing the employment matter of employee is appointed. The said employer and employee are entitled to bring the witnesses and tender relevant documents for panel consideration.
Fourth, if the panel find the employer is right, the employer then can issue notice of termination against the employee.
Only there are some exceptional cases whereby the employer no need to conduct step one to step four to terminate the employee i.e. the employee absent for two days consecutively without informing the employer.
Any doubt? Call us
By Lawyer Khoo Ai Theng (P.J.K. (NSDK))
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