Airod ex-manager awarded RM1.1mil for unfair dismissal

airod ex-manager awarded rm1.1mil for unfair dismissal

The Industrial Court awarded Fawaid Daud back wages of RM487,368 and another RM649,824 as compensation in lieu of reinstatement following his unjust dismissal by Airod Sdn Bhd after 32 years of service. (Airod pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Industrial Court has awarded an aircraft maintenance company’s former senior manager approximately RM1.1 million in compensation after ruling he was unjustly dismissed from employment on the pretext of his fixed-term contract having come to an end.

Court chairman Augustine Anthony said Fawaid Daud was a permanent employee of Airod Sdn Bhd despite being issued with annual fixed-term contracts of employment covering a period of 20 years from Jan 1, 2000 to Dec 31, 2020.

“There is no dispute that the claimant was a permanent employee of the company, having first been employed on Aug 1, 1988.

“The claimant was, however, offered a fixed term contract of employment only on Jan 1, 2000,” Anthony said in a 58-page award released last week.

He said it was manifestly clear that the company intended to keep Fawaid as a permanent employee and, therefore, the claimant had a legitimate expectation to remain employed until he reached the mandatory minimum retirement age of 60 as prescribed by law.

Anthony said the claimant had served the company for 32 years with an unblemished record and was prepared to be shifted from one department to another regularly.

“Certainly the claimant’s loyalty and outstanding performance must account for something special in the eyes of a fair and just employer, but sadly this was not the case here,” he said.

Anthony said corporations and business entities are perfectly entitled to be profit driven but they must never lose sight of the welfare of their workforce.

“This court finds that the company has failed to prove on the balance of probabilities that the dismissal of the claimant was with just cause or excuse,” he said.

Although the claimant had not as at the date of the award turned 60 years old, the mandatory minimum retirement age under the Minimum Retirement Age Act 2012, Anthony declined to reinstate him to his employment.

“At the time of giving evidence in Court, the Claimant was 58 years old.

“Having considered all the evidence in this case, including the age of the claimant at the time of handing down this award, this court is of the view that reinstatement of the claimant to his former position in the company was not a suitable remedy in the circumstances of this case,” he said.

Fawaid’s last drawn monthly salary was RM20,307.

Anthony awarded Fawaid a total of RM1,137,192, comprising back wages of RM487,368 and RM649,824 as compensation in lieu of reinstatement.

The facts of the case revealed that Fawaid began his employment with the company in 1988 as an engineer with a monthly salary of RM1,300.00.

Due to his good job performance, he was promoted to deputy manager on July 1, 1993.

On Jan 1, 2000 the company appointed Fawaid to the post of general manager and put him on a fixed term contract for one year.

The claimant enjoyed an automatic renewal of his employment from then on.

After 32 years of service, the company on Dec 21, 2020 issued a letter to the claimant captioned “expiry of contract of service” by which he was informed that his employment would end on Dec 31, 2020.

Fawaid stated that the dismissal was malicious, unlawful, an act of victimisation and unfair labour practice.

The company took the position that effective Jan 1, 2000, the claimant was categorised as being at managerial level with a lucrative salary scheme and additional perks not enjoyed by the company’s permanent employees.

It said the company’s policy was that all employees at the managerial level will only be offered annual fixed-term contracts.

However, Anthony said the evidence did not support the company’s contentions.

“The contract of employment dated Aug 1, 1988 clearly states that the claimant was already employed (at the) managerial level even in 1988.

Anthony also said a review of the evidence showed that the claimant’s remuneration when appointed general manager “was nothing different from a permanent employee of the company.”

Lawyer Nur Shazwani Shadan represented Fawaid, while Syafiq Amani Sabri acted for the company.

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