20. (1) Where a workman, irrespective of whether he is a member of a trade union of workmen or otherwise, considers that he has been dismissed without just cause or excuse by his employer, he may make representations in writing to the Director General to be reinstated in his former employment; the representations may be filed at the office of the Director General nearest to the place of employment from which the workman was dismissed.
(1a) The Director General shall not entertain any representations under subsection (1) unless such representations are filed within sixty days of the dismissal:
Provided that where a workman is dismissed with notice he may file a representation at any time during the period of such notice but not later than sixty days from the expiry thereof.
(2) Upon receipt of the representations the Director General shall take such steps as he may consider necessary or expedient so that an expeditious settlement thereof is arrived at; where the Director General is satisfied that there is no likelihood of the representations being settled, he shall notify the Minister accordingly.
(3) Upon receiving the notification of the Director General under subsection (2), the Minister may, if he thinks fit, refer the representations to the Court for an award.
(4) Where an award has been made under subsection (3), the award shall operate as a bar to any action for damages by the workman in any court in respect of wrongful dismissal.
(5) This section shall not apply to the dismissal of a workman in circumstances arising out of a contravention of section 59 where proceedings have been commenced before a court in respect of an offence under subsection 59(1); where, while proceedings are pending under this section, proceedings arising out of the same dismissal are commenced before a court in respect of an offence under subsection 59(1), the proceedings under this section shall not be proceeded with further. >
(6) In any proceedings under subsection (2)—
(a) an employer may—
(i) represent himself or be represented by his duly authorized employee;
(ii) where he is a member of a trade union of employers, be represented by any officer or employee of such trade union employers; or
(iii) notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law relating to the registration of trade unions, be represented by any official of an organization of employers registered in Malaysia (not being a trade union of employers); and
(b) a workman may—
(i) represent himself; br> (ii) where he is a member of a trade union of workmen, be represented by any officer or employee of such trade union of workmen; or
(iii) notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law relating to the registration of trade unions, be represented by any official of an organization of workmen registered in Malaysia (not being a trade union of workmen).
(7) Save as provided in subsection (6), a workman or employer shall not be represented by an advocate, adviser, consultant or by any other person whatsoever.
(8) For the purpose of carrying out his functions under this section the Director General—
(a) shall have the power to direct either party to furnish to him, within such period as may be specified in that direction, such information as he may consider necessary or relevant; and
(b) may, if he deems it necessary or expedient, direct any person engaged in or connected directly or indirectly with the dismissals to attend a conference to be presided over by the Director General or such person as he may appoint at such time and place as may be specified in the direction.
(9) Where a workman who has made a representation under subsection (1) attends none of the conferences under paragraph (8)(b) without any reasonable excuse, the representation shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.