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09/08/2008 16:42:10
Re: Leaving the Company to pursue Studies.

Hi there,

I would like to relay a situation I was in at my previous workplace. I have been an employee of this company since July 2007. In May 2008, I was offered a scholarship to further my studies. I tendered my resignation there and then on the 21st May. By right, I need to give 2 months of notice, according to my contract. However, I requested to be released earlier, 30th June as I was starting school sometime 2nd week of July.

My queries are:

1) Is it right for the Employer to demand for reimbursement for the days I am suppose to work prior to my actual departure? (1st to 21st July = 3 weeks)
**My question concerns ethics of an employer to demand such a sum from an employee who is leaving not to work for a rival company or such, but to pursue studies.

Additional information:
I have also signed for a 6 months contract when I joined the company's trip in March 2008. It was stated that after the trip, I was to stay for another 6 months, or else to reimburse a sum of amount due to breach of contract.

23 July 2007 - Joined company
Feb 2008 - 6 months confirmation
Mar 2008 - Company trip (with contract of 6 months)
21 May 2008 - Tendered resignation giving 2 months notice (request for early departure)
30 June 2008 - Last day of work
** July 2008 - Supposedly 1 year confirmation of working

At the end, I requested that I pay the reimbursement amount (3 weeks) in installments of 3 months. My request was denied. I also requested that I should be excluded from paying the trip amount I signed for. This was however approved, as the amount was far lesser than the 3 weeks reimbursement amount.

I am just relaying this situation not because I am not satisfied of what and how I was treated during my last month of work, but my great concern for employers who do not understand that pursuing for study-related purposes is not a threat or a bad thing. Yes, employers might lose employees (the good and also so-so ones) BUT there should be humane enough to consider that relieving employees for study purposes is a good act.

The fact that I had to reimburse my ex-company made my starting school life difficult. As I am under scholarship, it would take months before the scholarship money comes in. Until I get the money and begin to live a normal student life on a budget, I think of my ex-boss and the management of their decision of obtaining the reimbursement amount from what little savings I had.

I wonder if other companies practice this kind of act. A contract is a contract. However, it can be broken with a consensus among the management and in their discretion. No?



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KL Siew
09/08/2008 18:20:00
Here may just a place for you to voice your frustration. If one were to go through the forum of this website, one would discover that there are all sorts of labour problems. There are good employers and there are bad ones. There are good employees and there are bad employees, all sorts. These are the facts of life and very little can be done about it.
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10/08/2008 01:46:47
Yes Siew. As the ex-employer would say - Macam macam ada. And true enough! There can be all sorts of people in this world. However, it does not mean that due to bad experiences with past employees, the Employer should treat the present ones badly too. Anyway, the Employers own the companies. Hence, they can do and demand whatever rightful of theirs :)
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