Section 20, Industrial Relations Act 1967 Protects Workmen in Malaysia from Unfair Dismissal. to What Extent Do You Agree? Support Your Arguments with Relevant Recent Cases.

Topics: Employment, Trade union, Termination of employment Pages: 10 (3118 words) Published: May 24, 2013

HBH324N Managing Workplace Relations
Sem 1, 2013

Individual Essay

Question 8
Section 20, Industrial Relations Act 1967 protects workmen in Malaysia from unfair dismissal. To what extent do you agree? Support your arguments with relevant recent cases.

Wilson Ung Yu Siong

Lecturer & Tutor: Dr. Balakrishnan Muniapan

This paper will be offering an overview of rights of an employee while encountering unfair dismissal by the company within the Context of Malaysian Industrial relations. Unfair dismissal cases are strongly supported by Section 20 of Industrial Act 1967 that protects the workmen in Malaysia. Throughout this report, there will be a deep analysis on the Section 20 of Industrial Act 1967 with relevant cases as supporting elements. In addition, this paper would also include how much I agreed on the Industrial Act that actually protects and secured the employees’ rights, whom have been unfairly dismissed by the company.


The issues of unfair dismissal have been increasing steadily as we can see that there are more and more wrongful dismissal cases being carried out in the court nowadays. However, the rate of unfair dismissal cases may be reduced, if and only if every party has taken their preventive steps. Industrial Relations Act 1967 is an act to provide for the regulation of the relations between employers and workmen and their trade unions and the prevention and settlement of any differences or disputes arising from their relationship and generally to deal with trade disputes and matters arising therefrom (Industrial Relation Act, 1967). The Industrial Relations Act of 1967 (amended 1989) (IRA) is the applicable legislation covering the situation where the cause of dismissal was misconducted. A reasonable consideration is an essential requirement for a workman to be properly dismissed in the general thinking of the Court. Referring to IRA 1967, the meaning of “workman” is:

“…any person, including an apprentice, employed by an employer under a contract of employment to work for hire or reward and for the proposes of any proceedings in relation to a trade dispute includes any such person who has been dismissed, discharged or retrenched in connection with or as a consequence of that dispute or whose dismissal, discharge or retrenchment has led to that dispute.”

In Section 20, the explanation of the term “workman” by IRA 1967 suggests that anybody that is employed by the employer under an employment contract is working for the purpose of getting paid in terms of money. Every employed individual has a contract of employment. The contract is often unwritten and will contain mostly of implied terms (K. Rose 2004). The terms of a verbal contract will include the representations made by the employer to the employee prior to taking the job, plus terms, which are implied into every contract of employment by law.

Methodology & Limitations

Statutory and some case laws are used to facilitate this report as a source of reference. There will be a deep analysis on Section 20 of Industrial Relation Acts 1987 where it also supported by relevant cases. This Act is being analyzed thoroughly and a detailed research is done through online resources. The limitations throughout the process of preparing this report are the accuracy and the availability of the information found online.

Section 20, Industrial Relation Acts 1967

20. Representations on dismissals.
(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...
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