Workplace mistreatment against employees is common across various sectors. From manipulative bosses to unfair treatment by supervisors.
In order to protect the rights of the workers, the government has passed various laws and regulations and established various avenues for workers to address the mistreatment in the workplace such as the Department of Labour (Jabatan Tenaga Kerja), Department of Industrial Relations (Jabatan Perhubungan Perusahaan Malaysia), Industrial Court or the Malaysia civil court.
Despite having the same objective to protect the rights of the workers, however, it must be noted that different departments shall have different functions and have different jurisdiction in granting orders or awards. As such it is important for a worker to seek redress in the right place.
The main function of the departments is set out as follows:-
Department of Labour (Jabatan Tenaga Kerja)
In charge of enforcing labour laws and regulations and ensuring all laws and regulations are being followed.
Department of Labour may investigate complaints from workers who allege that their employers are not complying with the laws and regulations and may inquire and decide any dispute between the worker and his employer in respect of wages or any other payments due to such worker under the contract of service or under any labour laws and regulations.
Department of Industrial Relations (Jabatan Perhubungan Perusahaan Malaysia)
In charge of managing and maintaining positive and harmonious relations between the workers and employers and their trade unions, including settling workplace disputes between workers and employers, and the formation of collective agreements.
The Department of Industrial Relations will first attempt to help both parties settle the issue out of court. If the matter cannot be resolved, the Department will then refer the case to the Industrial Court.
Industrial Court (Mahkamah Perusahaan)
Will hear the dispute between the workers and employers and has wide power to order reinstatement of the worker, award compensation in lieu of reinstatement and back wages. With regard to the trade union, the Industrial Court also has the power to decide whether to give cognizance to the collective agreement.
Malaysia Civil Court
Have jurisdiction to hear and resolve any type of dispute between workers and employers. However, the Civil Court’s jurisdiction to grant order or relief is only limited to the contractual remedy.
In conclusion, different departments shall have different functions and different jurisdiction in granting orders or awards. As such, it is important for the worker to seek redress in the right place to ensure not losing their entitlement under the law. For more enquiries about your case, speak to us.