‘Asia-Pacific Trusts Law’ Book and Series Launch on 14 October 2021

You can sign up for this free Zoom event on Thursday 14 October 2021 for the launch of Asia-Pacific Trusts Law: Theory and Practice in Context.

Edited by Associate Professor Ying Khai Liew and Professor Matthew HardingAsia-Pacific Trusts Law: Theory and Practice in Context will be launched by Justice Andrew Phang (Supreme Court of Singapore) and Justice Susan Glazebrook (Supreme Court of New Zealand). Theory and Practice in Context is the first volume in the ‘Asia-Pacific Trusts Law’ book series.

This event is hosted by the Asian Law Centre and the Obligations Group at Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne and the Centre for Commercial Law in Asia at Singapore Management University.

You can also purchase the book online here.

Case Update: High Court Finds that Listed Companies Cannot Apply for Judicial Management

The High Court in the judicial management application of Re Scomi Group Bhd decided that public listed companies cannot apply for judicial management. Hence, Scomi Group Bhd’s judicial management application was dismissed.

I have only had sight of the brief grounds of decision and will only make some short points below. I may write a more detailed case update if the full grounds of judgment are issued.

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Just launched: “Guide to Malaysian Employment Law”

I have always believed that by writing about the law and related topics, I am not only sharing knowledge with others, but also richly expanding and deepening my own understanding of the topics I write about. This is why I have been consistently publishing my legal writings from my early days of practice, going back 18 years now.

Today, we have launched a Guide to Malaysian Employment Law. This Guide will be hosted on a standalone page on The Malaysian Lawyer, and is a one-stop introductory guide to Malaysian employment law, including categorised links to employment law articles I have published on The Malaysian Lawyer.

The topics in the Guide have been selected based on feedback from in-house counsel and HR professionals, and cover the usual high-level background legal information they would like to have on-hand, particularly as professionals from other jurisdictions considering employment issues in Malaysia.

The Guide will be constantly-evolving, and its contents will be updated from time-to-time. Please share the Guide with others who may find it useful, and leave a comment if you have any feedback, or requests or suggestions for other employment law issues that should be covered.

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New laws require goods/food delivery gig workers to register under Self-Employment Social Security Scheme from 1 October 2021

New laws coming into force on 1 October 2021 will require self-employed goods and food delivery workers to be registered under the Self-Employment Social Security Act 2017 (“the SESS Act”) and contribute to the fund under the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme.

The Self-Employment Social Security Scheme was introduced to provide protection against employment injuries including occupational diseases and accidents during work-related activities for individuals who are self-employed under the SESS Act. It was initially compulsory only for gig workers in the passenger transportation sector (taxi, e-hailing, and bus drivers), but has since been expanded to other sectors, including goods and food delivery gig workers. These latest amendments now make registration compulsory for all goods and food delivery gig workers.

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Case Update: Another company’s retrenchment of employees due to COVID-19/MCO deemed unfair by Industrial Court

In this Case Update series, I share summaries of recent Malaysian court decisions to explore the current approach taken by the courts when deciding on employment-related issues. You can find all the posts in the series by clicking here, including case updates on other legal areas by TheMalaysianLawyer co-founder Lee Shih.

There was a very sharp rise in retrenchment numbers in Malaysia in 2020, particularly in the aftermath of the first Movement Control Order (MCO), which started in March 2020. We are now seeing Industrial Court decisions as a result of unfair dismissal complaints lodged by employees who had their employment terminated in the first half of 2020, and I expect we will continue to see a steady succession of these decisions in the coming months.

As I have often explained, while employers are legally entitled to dismiss employees where the retrenchment is for genuine reasons, employers must be able to show that the termination was not improperly motivated. I recently highlighted one case where the Industrial Court decided that the retrenchment of an employee, which the employer said was due to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, was an unfair dismissal: “Case Update: Industrial Court finds retrenchment due to effects of COVID-19/MCO was unfair”.

In this article, I summarise four recent awards involving retrenchments carried out at the same time by the same employer, which the employer said was due to the effects of the MCO and pandemic:

  1. Mohamad Sahrul Bin Kahulan v. Lourdes Medical Services Sdn Bhd (Award No. 1295 of 2021).
  2. Gawri A/P Muthadakan v. Lourdes Medical Services Sdn Bhd (Award No. 1296 of 2021).
  3. Lalitha A/P Subramaniam v. Lourdes Medical Services Sdn Bhd (Award No. 1297 of 2021).
  4. Rasalechumi A/P Kanagaratnam v. Lourdes Medical Services Sdn Bhd (Award No. 1298 of 2021).
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COVID, MCO, and the Malaysian legal industry — Part 2: Work culture, mental health, jobs, and the future

This market report is brought to you by The Malaysian Lawyer, co-founded by Lee Shih and Marcus van Geyzel.

This is Part 2 of our special market report on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various MCOs on the Malaysian legal industry. Before reading on, you should read Part 1, where we addressed the financial issues (paycuts, volume of legal work, and revenues), remote working, and technology.

In this second part, we report on the impact of the pandemic on office/work culture, how law firms addressed employee mental health issues, and examine how the industry could have done better in dealing with the various challenges, and what the future holds. Again, these findings are not our own conclusions, but are a collection of the views of several lawyers who very kindly took the time to share their experiences with us. Some have asked to remain anonymous.

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