Court awards ex-manager RM184,000 over unfair dismissal

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Industrial Relations manager was awarded RM184,000 as compensation after the Industrial Court found that he was misled into signing a mutual separation agreement on grounds of redundancy.

Industrial Court chairman D Paramalingan said N Murali Tharan Nair was forced to sign the agreement dated Feb 5, 2018, as a result of misrepresentations by senior executives of his employer, HLMG Management Co Sdn Bhd.

“The claimant has succeeded in proving, on a balance of probabilities, that he had been dismissed by the company in the guise of a mutual separation scheme,” Paramalingam said in his 32-page award delivered yesterday.

Paramalingam said the evidence showed that the company’s senior executives had misrepresented to Murali that he had been found redundant during a restructuring exercise.

He said they misrepresented to Murali that a mutual separation package was being offered to him so he could walk away from the company without the stigma of retrenchment.

Paramalingam said he refused to accept the company’s contention that Murali, represented by S Muhendaran and Chong Wan Loo, had displayed unsatisfactory performance.

“The claimant was a good performer and the mutual separation scheme had nothing to do with performance issues as admitted by a witness for the company,” he said.

He said the court finds that the mutual separation agreement dated Feb 5, 2018, was not entered into by Murali on his own free volition and the claimant was indeed dismissed without just cause and excuse.

Paramalingam said an order for reinstatement was inappropriate as the company clearly did not wish to keep Murali.

Murali’s last drawn monthly salary was RM11,500 and he had served the employer for three years and 10 months from May 2014.

The court allowed three months’ compensation amounting to RM34,5000 in lieu of reinstatement and 20 months in back wages amounting to RM230,000.

The court deducted RM80,500 as Murali was employed elsewhere after the dismissal and HLGH had also paid him a severance package.