MahWengKwai & Associates’ Public Series Lunch Talks are organised once a month over lunch to inculcate knowledge and awareness, promote deliberations, for networking and to explore new strategic partnerships amongst our associates and clients.

On 18 September 2019, our Senior Associate, Ms Diana Cheak, and Associate, John Chan, from the firms’ Employment Department spoke on “Understanding Unfair Dismissal Claims and Managing Poor Performance”. The talk focused on the basic procedures of unfair dismissal claims under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and how to manage employees’ poor performance from the legal perspective.

In the presentation, John explained the underlying principle and objective behind Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967, how representations and reconciliation sessions at the Industrial Relations Department take place, the power of the Minister of Human Resources under Section 20 and the requirements and proceedings in the Industrial Court. It was also highlighted that it is the employer that bears the burden of proof to prove that the dismissal of the employee was with just cause and excuse.

Diana then presented on the grounds that are required to be established by the employer in order to justify the dismissal of an employee for poor performance. The audience was taken through decided cases pertaining to poor performance which demonstrate how written warnings, sufficient opportunities to improve, probationer status and the seniority of employees are important factors to be taken into account. Diana concluded the talk with a practical checklist for employers when dealing with employees’ poor performance.

A copy of the talk slides in PDF format is available for download here.