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Handbook Vs. Labour Laws

GW Tan
Member
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 05:52:12 PM  (Last updated: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:38:25 PM)

Dear Mr Siew

I am in the midst of preparing a handbook for a company, which I modified from a standard template.

The original wording in the handbook states that the employee will receive whichever the more beneficial provision, in the event of an amendment to the law.  The owner of the company later clarified that they do in fact provide lesser than that in the provision of law. An example is the maternity allowance: they don’t give it.

FYI, the company is staffed with white-collar workers, of which about one-fifth of them earn below RM2k a month. This latter category of workers is made up of fresh graduates, contract and temporary staff.

That sparked off these questions: is this even allowable? Is it possible, in your experience, to still use one handbook, especially where the higher-paids have poorer terms than that provided for, say, in EA 1955? Or should we, as I may have seen, remain silent and implicit about the adherence to the labour laws of Malaysia in the handbook? In short, how can all this be practicably done?  

I appreciate your advice on this.

Regards

Nicholas

mdkamil
Contributor
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 07:49:32 PM

Hi Nicholas,

The EA 1955 provides the minimum terms & conditions of employment which are to be practiced in accordance to the law. Thus, employers are not allowed to provide terms & conditions of employment that are lesser than the EA 1955 for employees who are covered & governed by the EA 1955.

The right thing to do is to follow the law. 

GW Tan
Member
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:31:46 PM
Originally posted by GW Tan on Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:38:25 PM

Dear Mr Siew

I am in the midst of preparing a handbook for a company, which I modified from a standard template.

The original wording in the handbook states that the employee will receive whichever the more beneficial provision, in the event of an amendment to the law.  The owner of the company later clarified that they do in fact provide lesser than that in the provision of law. An example is the maternity allowance: they don’t give it.

FYI, the company is staffed with white-collar workers, of which about one-fifth of them earn below RM2k a month. This latter category of workers is made up of fresh graduates, contract and temporary staff.

That sparked off these questions: is this even allowable? Is it possible, in your experience, to still use one handbook, especially where the higher-paids have poorer terms than that provided for, say, in EA 1955? Or should we, as I may have seen, remain silent and implicit about the adherence to the labour laws of Malaysia in the handbook? In short, how can all this be practicably done?  

I appreciate your advice on this.

Regards

Nicholas

Hi Kamil, thanks for your help.

One more question if I may: By knowingly (or otherwise) dipping in one or two areas of benefits / provisions (below that provided under the law) to the employees and stating it in the handbook, is the company liable to any penalty or action from the related statutory body?

Thanks

Nicholas

GW Tan
Member
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:58:51 PM
Originally posted by mdkamil on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 07:49:32 PM

Hi Nicholas,

The EA 1955 provides the minimum terms & conditions of employment which are to be practiced in accordance to the law. Thus, employers are not allowed to provide terms & conditions of employment that are lesser than the EA 1955 for employees who are covered & governed by the EA 1955.

The right thing to do is to follow the law. 

Hi Kamil, thanks for your help.

One more question if I may: By knowingly (or otherwise) dipping in one or two areas of benefits / provisions (below that provided under the law) to the employees and stating it in the handbook, is the company liable to any penalty or action from the related statutory body?

Thanks

Nicholas

PS: Please excuse me for the duplicate response. Was not sure how to reply to your note.

GW Tan
Member
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:00:59 PM

Hi Kamil, thanks for your help.

One more question if I may: By knowingly (or otherwise) dipping in one or two areas of benefits / provisions (below that provided under the law) to the employees and stating it in the handbook, is the company liable to any penalty or action from the related statutory body?

Thanks

Nicholas

PS: I just caught sight of the reply panel below the "Related Topics" section  :)

mdkamil
Contributor
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 09:00:30 PM

First, let us not look from the legal perspective. As human, we do have conscious. And by doing things that we consciously know not right, shouldn't that raise our guilty conscious?

From the legal perspective, Section 79 of the Employment Act does give powers to the DG to investigate possible offences under this Act. Therefore, if there is any of the employees who go and report the matter to the Labour Office, the Company shall be liable to present themselves infront of the law.

GW Tan
Member
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:38:25 PM

Thanks Kamil .. I note your points. We'd need the law to keep check on those in charge of organisations, because their conscience may not necessarily ring out as loud in the face of profit or even the ability to exercise a bit of power.

Appreciate your quick response.

Regards

Nicholas

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