Confirmed Speakers



Y.A. Puan Susila Sithamparam
President
Industrial Court of Malaysia


Y. Bhg. Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir
Columnist/Activist


Mr. P. Jayasingam
Partner
Messrs Zul Rafique & Partners


Y. Bhg. Dato' Thavalingam Thavarajah
Partner
Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Mr. Anand Ponnudurai
Partner
Messrs Bodipalar Ponnudurai De Silva

Mr. K. Jebaratnam

Mr. Siva Kumar Kanagasabai
Partner
Messrs Skrine

Mr. Lim Heng Seng
Partner
Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan
Senior Lecturer - Psychology
Jeffery Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Monash University (Sunway Campus)

Janet Toh
Partner, Intellectual propery Practice Group
Messrs Shearn Delamore & Co


Conference Details

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Tuesday, 9th September 2014


Equity and Good Conscience
Powers of the Industrial Court under Section 30 (5),
Industrial Relations Act 1967


Y.A. Puan Susila Sithamparam
President
Industrial Court of Malaysia

The Industrial Court is the creature of the Industrial Relations Act 1967. Therefore it has to function within the limits imposed by the statute that created it, and according to its provisions. Based on s. 30(5), Industrial Relations Act 1967, the Industrial Court shall act in according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case. This means that the Industrial Court shall adopt a broad approach of common sense and common fairness, eschewing all legal and other technicalities.

Come join us in this presentation where the President of the Industrial Court will guide you on the application of equity and good conscience in trade disputes between employers and trade unions, in dismissals due to misconduct and poor performance, in matters relating to bonuses, mergers and acquisitions and others.


Medical Certificates in Sick Leave Applications
Can employers reject Medical Certificates (MC)?

Mr. P. Jayasingam
Partner
Messrs Zul Rafique & Partners

Sick leave for employees, whether it is used for legitimate or not-so-legitimate reasons, has become a major problem for many organisations and industries worldwide. However, can employers reject MCs at work? If so, what are the circumstances it can be rejected in and what are the implications, if any, for the employers? What is the law on MCs? How is a MC legally defined? Do employers need to appoint Panel Clinics to better manage sick leave at work? How can employers determine whether their employees are truly sick or merely feigning illness. How do employers deal with doctors who are ‘too easy’ in awarding MCs to their employees?


Love, Romance and Hate in the Workplace Environment
Identifying & handling “true love” vs sexual harassment

Y. Bhg. Dato’ Thavalingam Thavarajah
Partner
Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Workplace romance exists when two employees of the same organization develop a relationship with mutual attraction. Occasionally, such romances may break up and cause damage to the morale and productivity in the workplace. Worse, either party to the relationship may even make a sexual harassment complaint against the other, and this can then quickly become the employer’s problem. Therefore, how does the employer identify and handle “true love” vs sexual harassment? What are the applicable laws and guidelines for employers? How does the employer develop an appropriate relationship policy about office romance? Does the employer prohibit dating among employees or do you require employees to disclose a romantic relationship? Or do you just ignore them if the romance is not causing any operational issues?


Heads Up: Termination Processes in Employment Law
Step by step guide for employers to get it right and reduce risks of lawsuits

Mr. Anand Ponnudurai
Partner
Messrs Bodipalar Ponnudurai De Silva

Are you aware of the processes or procedures and legalities involved when dealing with termination of employment, specifically resignation, dismissal due to misconduct, dismissal for poor performance, retirement, medical board out, frustration of contract, etc? Are your processes airtight to reduce any risk of liabilities? Learn from us, as termination without the correct process may result in an unfair dismissal claim, which, even if not legitimate, is costly, unsettling, and a distraction to the workplace.


Panel Discussion
Emphasizing Employer’s Rights in Collective Bargaining
Negotiating with unions for win-win solutions

Mr. Fong Khei Por
Director- General, Industrial Relations
Ministry of Human Resources

Mr. K. Jebaratnam

Mr. Simon Sim
Group HR Director
Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd

Mr. Gopal Kishnam
Secretary General
Malaysian Trade Unions Congress

If you are involved in collective bargaining, are you aware of the complex and multi-layered dynamics at play?

Are you aware that the employer’s strategic interests and priorities are tied to how well you do at the bargaining table? Are you fully aware of the relevant facets and application of the Industrial Relations Act 1967?

These and other important issues are explored in this panel, which features expert advise and instruction from our panelists on the following:
  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Determining the real issues and interests (the employer’s and the union’s)
  • Framing issues for productive dialogue
  • Gaining team agreement on priorities, strategies, tactics, and processes
  • Communicating with stakeholder groups
  • Formulating a bargaining mandate
Get what you want, help everybody win, and negotiate to victory!


Conciliation and Referral Functions and Powers in Unjust Dismissal Disputes
Understanding the industrial dispute resolution mechanism and effectively presenting the employer’s case in the conciliation, reporting and reference stages

Mr. Lim Heng Seng
Partner
Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Have you had any employee who was dismissed and subsequently filed a representation for reinstatement at the Industrial Relations Department (IRD)?

The conciliation process that takes place before the DGIR who acts through the Industrial Relations Officer (IRO) at the IRD provides an opportunity to the employer and the dismissed employee to resolve their differences with the assistance of a neutral third party conciliator, specifically the IRO. If conciliation fails, the IRD will make notify the Minister of Human Resources who will then decide whether or not the representation should be referred to the Industrial Court. The question is: Are you ready to properly and adequately put forward the employer’s case? Are you aware of the processes and documentation involved at the IRD which includes furnishing a report to the Minister? How do you manage these stages of the dispute resolution processes to the end that a favourable outcome might be achieved without the necessity for a reference to the Industrial Court?


Wednesday, 9th September 2014




Women at Work Through the Times
1970 – 2020: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Y. Bhg. Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir
Columnist/Activist

Throughout most of history, women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant ‘professions’.

In the 20th century, however, women in most nations, including Malaysia, have had an increase in their educational and and career opportunities.
Join Ms Marina Mahathir, a distinguished human rights activist who works on women, children issues, and listen to her discourse on the evolving role of women at work:
  • Early attitudes toward women at work
  • Changes in men’s and women’s labour force participation rates
  • Women, the weaker sex?
  • The legal status of women at work
  • The future for women in employment


Effectively Dealing with Breach of Privacy & Confidentiality Agreements and IT Abuse (“Cyberloafing” or “Cyberslacking”) in the Workplace

Mr. Siva Kumar Kanagasabai
Partner
Messrs Skrine

Many employers include a Privacy & Confidentiality Agreement or clause in their company policies and procedures. This usually states that misuse or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information may be a ground for disciplinary action including dismissal of an employee.Whether a dismissal on these grounds is justified, will depend on the answer to the following questions:
  • Is the information genuinely confidential?
  • Does the disclosure or misuse compromise or prejudice the employer’s business in some way?
  • Does the employee know that the information is confidential?
  • Did the employer make the employee aware of the potential consequences for misusing information?
Similarly, some employees engage in IT abuse, specifically IT use that is not required by work or is outside of regular work usage. Research on workplace IT abuse (also called “Cyberloafing” or”Cyberslacking”) suggests that employees are likely to use non-work emails, and visit shopping-related websites, news, entertainment, and sports-related websites during work hours. Such activities may result in loss of productivity and negative consequences for both the company and its employees. Why do employees engage in IT abuse at work? How do employers effectively deal with such abuse?


The Personal Data Protection Act 2010
Ensuring a future of perfect data compliance

Janet Toh
Partner, Intellectual Property Practice Group
Messrs Shearn Delamore & Co

While the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA) has come into force with effect from 15 November 2013, this session is an excellent platform for all employers and industry stakeholders to deepen their appreciation of the PDPA, share best practices, and exchange knowledge on data protection issues and trends. Most importantly, we will answer some common questions about the PDPA:
  • What is data protection?
  • Why the law?
  • What is PDPA about?
  • Who is governed under PDPA and who is not?
  • Who should I worry about retaining personal data?
We will also guide participants on how to set out the duties of organisations in this regard, and give examples of good practice in managing the retention of personal data, in order to ensure a future of perfect data compliance.


Managing Employee’s Mental Health
Effectively dealing with emotional problems at work

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan
Senior Lecturer - Psychology
Jeffery Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Monash University (Sunway Campus)

Mental health issues affect us all, whether we are employers or employees. When mental health issues at work are not addressed and treated properly, there can be considerable personal and financial costs to individuals and organisations. How do mental health issues show at the workplace? How can you tell if an employee has a mental health problem? What do we do when a focused, results-oriented employee of a sudden begins to arrive to work late, appears disorganized and lethargic, and becomes less productive? How do we deal with an employee who suddenly behaves erratically, appears withdrawn and less cooperative. What happens when we fail to act?


Panel Discussion
Mergers, Take-Overs & Acquisitions
Dealing with legal complexities for employees within and outside the ambit of the Employment Act 1955

Mr. Muhendran Suppiah
Partner
Messrs Muhendran Sri

Mr. Lim Heng Seng
Partner
Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

The effect of mergers, take-overs and acquisitions on employees can be significant if the reorganization of the business is not handled effectively. During these exercises, there are at least two groups of employees involved, one group within the ambit of the Employment Act 1955, and the other group, outside the scope of the Act. Our panelists will discuss and recommend steps, amongst others, to assist companies in effectively managing the affected employees as below:
  • How to legally define and distinguish employees within and outside the scope of the Act;
  • What are the rights and entitlements for these groups of affected employees;
  • Employment contracts between the employees and the employer.
  • Applicability of non-competitive and privacy or confidentiality agreements.
  • Severance compensation policies that give the employee the right to additional compensation or benefits, like stock options, if the employee is retrenched.


Shared Services and Outsourcing
Impact, Legal Implications & Strategies

Mr. Rutheran Sivagnanam
Head of Chambers
Chambers of R Sivagnanam & Associates

With the global economy in a continuous flux, cost cutting, optimization and valuable service delivery to Shared Services and Outsourcing professionals has never been so important. In both shared services and outsourcing, the most complex aspects are linked to the legalities involved. Take advantage and learn from our presentation covering:

  • What is the difference between Shared Services and Outsourcing?
  • What is the impact to the employee that we can expect once an organisation decides to either embark on Shared Services or Outsourcing?
  • What are the legalities and implications involved in these mechanisms?
  • How do we define and distinguish the employee’s role within the organisation pursuant to Shared Services or Outsourcing.
  • How will it affect performance management methods and KPI sets for employees?

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