18/06/2018 - UNSETTLED DISMISSAL CASES TO GO DIRECTLY TO INDUSTRIAL COURT

UNSETTLED DISMISSAL CASES TO GO DIRECTLY TO INDUSTRIAL COURT

The Sunday Daily (Online) : 18/06/2018

PETALING JAYA: All unsettled dismissal cases will proceed to the Industrial Court directly and will not need the Human Resources Minister's referral.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said this will be one of the amendments that are being drafted in the Industrial Relations Act 1967 (IRA).

"The amendments involve Section 20 of the IRA," he told theSun. "The Industrial Relations Department (IRD) looks at the reconciliation of the worker and employer and if the matter is unsettled, it would send the case to the minister to decide whether or not it should proceed to the Industrial Court.

"I want to take this power (of the minister) away. This means any case that is unsettled through reconciliation will automatically be referred to the court."

He added that with the removal of the Minister's discretion for referral of cases, a worker can bring any unfair dismissal to justice.

"I have already ordered my ministry to look into this and the IR committee has started working on the draft bill. I hope it would be ready to be tabled to the Cabinet in two weeks," Kulasegaran said.

Kulasegaran said he had met 25 lawyers in relation to this matter last Thursday and the IR committee, which comprises lawyers Anand Ponnudurai, Datuk T. Thavalingam and S. Muhendaran, is looking at a mechanism that will be suitable for to ensure that workers are not denied justice.

"We want to ensure that all cases that comes to the IRD to heard and resolved within a short time. At least the reconciliation should be settled within week to 10 days," he said.

"If the reconciliation of the worker and employer is not attained then there should not be any delay in the case going to the Industrial Court. No more three or four months to deal with unfair dismissal cases."

However, he stressed that he had cautioned officers dealing with industrial cases should ensure that there is no compromise in the quality of the work.

"Another area that we are looking at is also if the worker dies in the process of the case. You see the reason a worker takes an unfair dismissal to IRD is to be reinstated to work. But that cannot happen if the worker dies.

"Thus, we are looking at how the family of the worker can proceed with the case when the case abates," he said.

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