Thursday, September 1, 2016

FIVE PILLARS OF MASTER & SERVANT

Sometime its difficult to determine whether a relationship is an employment contract or other forms or relationship. The contract for service, independent contractor, freelance amongst other has become a talisman and magical chant for the privilege few, namely those with the resources to deny ever creating an employment contract with those with lesser bargaining power.

There are five characteristic, that if met will have a resemblance of the ancient master and servant relationship. Those five pillar are wages, what task, how to perform it, when and where.

During ancient time, when currency's is not in the form as known to us. A sack of grains maybe the exchange to service rendered. A servant is not a slave, serve and be rewarded. Still the element of rewards is there and in our times it's in the form of money or wages or salary.

As master, he knows which task need to be performed, if he is able to do it by himself than there is no use of keeping an extra hand. The title or position, or what to do is significant to the relationship. A clerk, labourer, manager and all sorts of name to the job.

Knowing what to do is not enough, the master control how the task is performed. If the master instruct a driver to take a longer route than the ordinary one the servant must follow it. Even to the extent of 'stir don't shake' kind of instructions.

Where task should be performed, consisting boundary set out by the master. It also refer to place of employment.

When task to be performed also an important characteristic of the relationship. Working days and hours of work are two important part of an employment contract.

So that is the five pillar of master and servant relationship. Salary, what, how, where and when.

Antara kontrak perkhidmatan dan master & servant

Kontrak perkhidmatan, kontrak pekerjaan dan lain-lain variasinya merujuk kepada hubungan majikan dan pekerja yang diformalisasikan. Rujukan kepada akta-akta parlimen dibuat untuk mewajarkan hak pihak-pihak khusus yang terlibat iaitu majikan dan pekerja.

Melalui akta parlimen juga 'privity' atau kekhususan pihak-pihak direntas, sebagai contoh kuasa kerajaan mencampuri perlaksanaan syarat-syarat perkhidmatan dengan memasukkan syarat seperti gaji minima, hak maksima waktu berkerja dan seumpamanya. Hak mengarahkan caruman/ potongan wajib ke atas gaji pekerja seperti KWSP, LHDN dan PERKESO. Mengarahkan 'matching contribution' seperti KWSP dan PERKESO. Walaupun masih mengambil semangat asal 'master & servant', namun penyesuaian dibuat bergantung kepada situasi semasa.

Memahami kontrak perkhidmatan sebagai suatu 'perjanjian yang boleh dikuatkuasakan undang-undang' kadang-kala mudah kerana adanya terma rujukan jelas berdasarkan akta-akta parlimen. Kadang-kala sukar jika akta parlimen tidak menetapkan ' tafsiran'.

Maka adalah lebih mudah untuk memahami hubungan 'master & servant' yang mengandungi lima tonggak asas atau The Five Pillars of Master & Servant relationship.

KELAYAKAN PEKERJA KONTRAK DIBAYAR PAMPASAN SETELAH TEMPOH KONTRAK MATANG

Secara umum ada pembahagian dibuat majikan-majikan berkaitan pekerja kontrak dan tetap.

Walaupun bukan ketetapan pejabat buroh, ia diterima secara umum, sebagai syarat perkhidmatan yang tidak melanggar undang-undang. Ia merujuk secara langsung kepada golongan pekerja bertempoh tetap dan seksyen 11 Akta Kerja.

Rujukan seksyen 11, juga adalah tafsiran tersirat apa yang dimaksudkan dengan penamatan kontrak perkhidmatan. Kontrak perkhidmatan tamat jika;
1. Kerja telah siap,
2. tempoh kontrak matang
3. ditamatkan mengikut bahagian itu.

Mengambil pendekatan longgar, pekerja kontrak yang kontraknya matang layak dibayar penamatan di bawah Peraturan-peraturan Kerja 1980 (Faedah penamatan dan Renti Kerja Sentara) tertakluk kepada syarat-syarat peraturan berkaitan kerana berlaku penamatan di bawah seksyen 11.

Monday, August 29, 2016

STATUTORY DEFENSE WHEN EMPLOYER CLAIMING WAGES IN LIEU OF NOTICE AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE


When an employee being sued by an employer under section 69(2)(iii) or 69C, Employment Act 1995 for wages in lieu of notice. The act itself has provided statutory defense in the form of section 13(2) and section 14(3), both sections has requirements that if fully met, an employee can challenge the cause of action brought up by the employer to the labour department.

Section 13(2) dealt with breach of contract and usually read together with section 15(2) of the said act, if being used by an employee.

Section 14(3) are use exclusively by employees when in his opinion he or his dependent are in danger from the employment contract, a simple example is a clerk instructed by his employer to stand-in as a security guard in the absence of one.     

Seksyen 15(2), perlukah majikan mencari pekerja ponteng.

Ponteng kerja adalah suatu masalah yang sukar ditangani oleh majikan dan mengganggu operasi harian dan kadangkala keseluruhan perniagaan.

Majikan sering dibebani dan dihujani dengan persoalan adakah telah cuba mencari, menghubungi dan mencuba bersungguh-sungguh mengetahui kedudukan pekerja semasa ketidakhadirannya. Terpahat di kotak fikiran majikan dan menjadi tangkal azimat mentera pekerja, majikan tidak prihatin tidak ambil peduli, kejam dan pelbagai gelaran jika kelihatan tidak ambil peduli ketiadaan pekerjanya.

Merujuk peruntukan khusus seksyen 15(2) Akta Kerja 1955 (Akta 265), adalah menjadi tanggungjawab pekerja secara statutori (di bawah akta parlimen/ undang-undang) untuk memaklumkan kepada majikan kenapa ponteng kerja dengan alasan yang munasabah.

Hujahan pekerja berkaitan majikan tidak  prihatin tidaklah berasaskan undang-undang bertulis, sebaliknya berdasarkan tanggungjawab sosial, moral dan etika semata-mata.

Monday, August 8, 2016

UNCHR Card Holder : The Employment ?

..."an agreement enforceable by law is a contract" section 2 (h) Contract Act 1950...

A contract of service is a contract under Contract Act 1950, if not for the specific statues that governs it such as Employment Act 1955 and Industrial Relations Act 1967. The general principle not being dealt by specific labour law will still fall into Contract Act 1950.

At has come the attention of the authority, alien that only possessed document issued by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) seeking employment and employer often ask the labour department whether to accept them as employee or not.

The answer lies in the general rule of employment an any sovereign country, the only person that can take up employment is the citizen. In Malaysia, under the current interpretation of Employment Act 1955, a permanent resident has similar right as citizen as far as employment concern.

Other than the two, nobody can be accepted as an employee and enjoy the protection laid down by labour law.  In the growing economy, job are redundant and the domestic supply of labour is insufficient. The government realizing this has decided to open the labour market to foreign worker. Equipped with proper travelling papers dan working permit, foreign worker enter the Malaysian labour market enjoying basically the same benefit as citizen and permanent resident. Thus adding the two group to three.

Other than the three, based on current policy and special circumstances, groups are granted the right to hold employment legally, for example foreigners spouse to Malaysian citizen, Acheh tsunami victim and I believe the Syrian refugee will also be given this special consideration.

A holder of UNHCR card, is not given this consideration, they can work to support their livelihood but in the event of non compliance of condition of service of their employment agreement between an employer and a UNHCR card holder they don't have the right to enforce the agreement. An agreement that cannot be enforce by law shall be void and will have no effect.

Based on the current rule and regulation, until Malaysia rectify ILO convention in relation to migrant worker or accept the status of refugee as in the Syrian refugee, a holder of UNHCR card shall not be able to file claims for non payment of wages amongst other in the labour department.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Wages : Travelling Allowance : My point of view

Section 2, Employment Act 1955 interpreted wages as basic wages and other cash payable for work done. It went further by excluding payment in cash such as traveling allowances, bonuses amongst other from the interpretation of wages.

Travelling allowance, for the purpose of payment to an employee is a form of payment that is payable not for work done.

In order to better understands why, we can use the workmen compensation model to show us why travelling  allowance is not payable for work done.

 The principle of "Going and Coming Rule", laid down by the law since the employer derives no
benefit from an employee’s ordinary commute to and from work. We can also simplified this principle as  punch in and punch out (clock-in clock-out), which during this interval an employer is liable to the action by employee or injury to the employee in the course of employment is one of the measurements weather cash payable is wages or not.

The master, or we call them employer has the right to control the servants or employee within time limited by law. Clearly if the employer wish to pay travelling allowance for the purpose of paying for the journey from home to the place of employment, the payment shall not for work done but outside of the "control period" that an employer has against his employee.

Different from basic wages, payable as a consideration for the whole duration of contract of service.
The Malaysian legislature has done justice to the interpretation of wages simply by acknowledging the existence of these dichotomy, namely basic wages and cash payable for work done.

In my opinion, if an employer has decided to name the travelling allowance as travelling allowance or simply naming it under "travelling" will the exclusion takes effect, other name in the form of petrol allowance, car or car maintenance allowance will have no effect as to exclusion from the interpretation of other cash payable for work done.

The value of travelling concession, is when an employer put a price tag to transport provided by him to commute his employee to the place of employment and shall also be excluded from the interpretation since no cash changed hand. If there is any, the cash shall be payable to a specific purpose or person namely the transportation provider.

In conclusion it is safe to say travelling allowance is not wages under section 2 Employment Act 1955.