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People Who Are Covered By IR Act But Also Covered By Employment Act. Can or Cannot?

Thu, 26 Jul 2018 03:45:15 PM  (Last updated: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:27:05 PM)

There's a person who is covered by the Industrial Relations Act, based on his salary and nature of job.

From my understanding, anything that does not covered by the Industrial Relations Act, his employment contract will be the basis.
However, his employment contract states that he and his employer agrees to follow the Employment Act 1955. So what legal rights do this person actually have?

A.) This person both have rights from IR Act and Employment Act?
B.) This person only have the rights from IR Act. That clause from his contract is not enforceable since it defies the law?
C.) This person now follows the Employment Act, and not anymore the IR Act because his contract says so?

Thank you for the advice.

KL Siew
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:27:05 PM

To make a long story short, the Employment Act and the Industrial Relations Act have different functions.

1. The Employment Act mainly provides benefits to employees covered by the Act such as payment of wages, annual leave, sick, overtime, maternity benefits and so on. Refer to Part 12 of the Act and Section 47 about maternity benefits and the power of the Labour Department in section 69. So, if the employer failed to provide any of the benefit or failed to pay wages, maternity allowance, the employee can go to the Labour Department make a complaint.

2. The IR Act however deals mainly with dismissal cases. Read up section 20 of the IR Act. Any employee seek redress in the IR Department if he is dismissed. It does not matter how high or how low is his salary. Such cases can end up in the Industrial Court.

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