Short-payment of Salary: Rendering support to a worker during COVID-19
Helping a local employee residing in Malaysia with his employment disputes
11 March 2022 | Salary Claims
Disclaimer: All names of employees, employers and mediators in the case studies have been changed to preserve confidentiality. The case studies are for informational purposes only and they do not constitute legal advice. The Tripartite Alliance Limited shall assume no responsibility and shall not be liable for any loss of damage or claims arising from your reliance on any information provided in the case studies.
- Though the pandemic disrupted face-to-face mediation and advisory services, the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) has continued to find new ways to assist our customers through phone and online platforms.
- Employees facing salary disputes should approach TADM early for assistance before the situation deteriorates and the amount owed to them accumulates.
Khairi’s two-year contract with a consultancy firm was coming to an end. However, he had yet to receive payment for his overtime work for the past three months. On top of that, he had also been promised a bonus for completing a project, which was not paid to him. Khairi, who was residing in Malaysia at the time, estimated that he was owed a hefty sum totalling to approximately $10,000.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he knew he needed to get his money back to tide him over the challenging times ahead, but his employer, George, was not responding to him on the overdue payments despite several reminders. Khairi thus decided to approach TADM for help with his claims.
How TADM helped
In light of COVID-19 restrictions, TADM mediator Jacqueline could not meet with Khairi and George for a face-to-face mediation. Instead, she relied on e-mails and phone calls to contact the parties and review Khairi’s claims. She ascertained that Khairi’s employment contract provided for reimbursement of overtime payment as well as the completion bonus, and informed George about the relevant clause. Realising his mistake, George agreed to pay the owed sum via a cheque.
Unfortunately, just as Khairi was about to return to Singapore to collect his cheque, Malaysia issued the Movement Control Order. Jacqueline decided to contact George to see how else she could help Khairi.
“When I saw the news about the Movement Control Order in Malaysia, I knew that I had to help Khairi expedite the settlement as he was residing in Malaysia and caught by movement restriction. I approached his employer to explain about his situation who subsequently agreed to deposit the cheque on Khairi's behalf." - Jacqueline (mediator)
Despite the ever-changing restrictions that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacqueline quickly adapted and responded, allowing Khairi to recover his rightful payment – his payment was deposited into his bank account within 10 days of him filing his claim. George also proved to be very cooperative throughout, responding to calls and e-mails promptly, making the mediation process smooth for all parties involved.
Khairi was extremely satisfied with the ease of the mediation process and wrote in to TADM to express his gratitude to his mediator, Jacqueline.
“I would like to convey my special thanks to Ms Jacqueline Tan for her professionalism par excellence. As I am residing in Malaysia, I requested Ms Jacqueline Tan to assist me to expedite the settlement. Ms Jacqueline, without any hesitation, sprang into action and my case was settled amicably without the need for an in-person mediation, thus saving time and resources. Ms Jacqueline's pro-active approach will make TADM proud and a highly regarded institution.” - Khairi