AN AFTERTHOUGHT WENT WRONG

AN AFTERTHOUGHT WENT WRONG

HASHEM BIN ABDULLAH V LIM KOK WING UNIVERSITY OF CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY

AWARD NO:1761 OF 2020

FACTS

  • The Claimant contends that he was forced by the Company to tender resignation as a Senior Executive Human Resources as he received repeated instructions from the Human Resources Manager to tender his resignation without informing him the reason why he should tender his resignation.
  • The Company refutes the Claimant’s allegations and avers that the Claimant left the employment after tendering his resignation voluntarily. The Claimant had failed to carry out his duties properly and was repeatedly warned orally which the Claimant was aware of. The Claimant had also sent a separate letter on the same day seeking from the Company to reconsider taking him back to the Company. 
  • The Company contended that the resignation letter was not handed to the HR Department but was found on the Claimant’s table in the HR Department and that the received acknowledgement chop on the said letter was put by the Claimant himself not by the HR department. 

ISSUES

  • Whether the Claimant was forced to resign or whether he had resigned voluntarily;
  • If the Claimant was forced to resign, then the Court has to decide whether the dismissal was with or without just cause or excuse. 

COURT EVALUATION AND FINDINGS

  • The Claimant failed to give any particulars or evidence of who in the Company ill-treated him and what was the nature of the ill-treatments on him. It was also not pleaded in the Statement of Case nor stated in his Witness Statement. The Claimant did not call his colleague to give evidence in support of his contention neither did he challenged COW on anything with regards to the alleged ill-treatment of the Company on him in the course of his employment. It is unusual for the Claimant failing to plead these highly material facts in his pleadings and during the trial. Hence, it is clearly a mere afterthought.
  • The Court upon careful examination of the Claimant’s resignation letter finds that the letter is simple, clear and unambiguous and the words used by the Claimant are straightforward and purposeful. There was nothing to show the existence of the Claimant being forced to resign. There is nothing in the Whatapps text message between the Claimant and COW to show that COW gave him an ultimatum to tender his resignation letter or that he has to face the termination from the company. 
  • If it was true that he was pressured to tender his resignation letter, the question to be asked is why he did not mention this fact in his resignation letter since he has some time to think and was not under any supervision by the company. The evidence is clear that when the Claimant tendered his resignation, there was no evidence of any force or coercion by the Company. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Where the fact of the dismissal is in dispute, it is for the workman to establish that he was dismissed by his employer. If he fails, there is no onus on the employer to establish anything for in such a situation no dismissal has taken place and the question of it being with just cause or excuse would not at all arise. 
  • To make out a case of forced resignation, the Claimant has to establish that he was not even allowed time to think over the matter. 
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