The real problem
Many of us think that, by signing the HR offer letter, you are secured enough to get the job, no issue to tender resignation for existing job. In fact, before the effective contract date, you are not protected by Malaysia Labour Law, to entitle for labor protection the person must be at least work with the company for one day.
Malaysia Labour Law Limitation
On 24 March 2015, I signed an employment letter with XXXX SDN BHD for SEO Specialist position. A week before the employment date, the HR contacted me, the company wanted to disengage my employment. I was shocked to received the call, cause I will lose a job, I will lose the ability to pay the daily bill. Such a short period, it is hard to get a replacement job. I couldn’t make a report to labor department because I was not their worker yet, there was no suitable authority department to handle this issue.
The legal cost and chances to win
I was thinking to appoint a lawyer, but the cost could be high, it may take a longer time to file a claim and no guarantee to win.
The better strategy to ask for claim
Initially, XXXX SDN BHD management refused to process my claim because I hardly take action against the company. To ask for a claim, I must have something in hand. To speed up the claim and cut down legal cost, I threatened the company with the following actions:
1. Getting something is better than nothing, for the miscellaneous claim that doesn’t not fall into any category, we can file a small claim at Magistrate Court in Jalan Duta. The registration fee only costs RM10, but the maximum amount of claim cannot go beyond RM5000. For the hearing, no legal lawyer allowed to represent either you, the claimant or the party you are suing, the defendant.
2. Report to Jobstreet of XXXX SDN BHD abuse job posting. I found the job from Jobstreet, Jobstreet has the responsibility to protect applicants, to restrict XXXX SDN BHD company from publishing new posting.
3. Discuss my issue to forums, blogs and social media. It certainly gives a negative reputation to the company.
To avoid the company ignoring my email, I set a time to request them to response to my email. After two emails, finally they give me a call to discuss the claim.
Below is my email conversation:
Patrick email on 11 May 2015
How is my employment status with XXXX SDN BHD, any feedback from management? On 8 May 2015, I received a call, XXXX SDN BHD would like to stop hiring for SEO specialist. The given reason, XXXX SDN BHD have the financial constraint, some existing staffs not even receive their salary. If I insist on starting work on 18 May, I will expect no salary. Is this true?
XXXX SDN BHD replied on May 11, 2015
Dear Patrick, Thank you for your email.
With utmost regret, we would like to inform you that the company is currently undergoing a major financial crisis and that we are unable to maintain and to continue its normal operations. This means that the stability of the company is uncertain as we move forward and that we ought to fairly inform you of the situation.
We would like to share with you that the situation may possibly deteriorate to which level that the company may not be able to sustain and to maintain its current workforce and operational expenses. We hereby would like to advise each you that you should take sufficient precaution for your own financial continuity, should the company is unable to support the required payments beyond the end of the month.
For this reason, XXXX SDN BHD is disengage your employment contract, should your good self is able to find another employment elsewhere.
You should thoroughly consider this situation and you may speak with us to further ascertain the ongoing status. We are available anytime for any private discussion.
We would also like to get your confirmation and understanding that this information has been fully shared and delivered to you, and that you are fully aware of the possible predicament moving forward.
Patrick email on May 13, 2015
I accepted the XXXX SDN BHD management decision, but I would like to ask for compensation fee of RMXXXX.
I signed the employment contract on 24th of March 2015, the management would have sufficient time to give an advanced notice that my employment will be disengaged. Currently, the given period to disengage my employment is too short for me to get a new job. XXXX SDN BHD should be responsible on this issue as salary is the main source of income for all employees.
If the management refuses to process my claim, I have no choice but to report this issue to the following channels:
1. File a claim at Magistrate Court
2. Report to Jobstreet of XXXX SDN BHD abusive job posting.
3. Discuss my issue to blog, forum and social media network.
Patrick email on May 15, 2015
On 13 May 2015, I received an unofficial called from XXXX SDN BHD, the management willing to process my claim. Due to an unofficial replied, I will not take it as a confirmation answer from the management.
If no further response on this email, after 17 May 2015, I will stick to my decision and file a report.
XXXX SDN BHD replied on May 15, 2015
My apology for the delay in reply.
As per our tele-conversation made on 13th May 2015, both XXXX SDN BHD and your kind self-have come to agreed on a compensation amounting to RMXXXX.
Also, both parties have also agreed on two (2) payout arrangements; 1st payment shall be made before 31st May 2015 and 2nd payment shall be on the 15th June 2015.
We appreciate your consideration and understanding and at the same time we wish to seek forgiveness from you for this unexpected predicament. We wish you the best of luck in your next career endeavour.