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27/05/2011 17:43:14
Re: Double Punishment?

Mr. Siew,

My company has issued a show cause letter to a staff. He replied and we suspended him for a week on half pay. We wish to carry out a Domestic Inquiry at the end of the suspension. If he is found guilty and receive necessary punishment, could it be regarded as we have meted out double punishment since we already suspended him on half pay earlier?

Pls advise us on what we should do. Thanks.
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KL Siew
27/05/2011 18:59:23
It may look like what you have said. In the proviso of subsection (2) below it implies wages will not be restored in found guilty of misconduct. If after a DI, you mete out a punishment in (c) of Subsection (1), by suspending him for two weeks without pay, it looks like double punishment. If there were to happen, what the affected employee can do is to complain to the Labour Department which has the power under Section 69 to set aside the decision of the employer. Yours is a good question which I think you should also direct it to the Labour Department.

"14. Termination of contract for special reasons.

(1) An employer may, on the grounds of misconduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of his service, after due inquiry:

(a) dismiss without notice the employee; or

(b) downgrade the employee; or

(c ) impose any other lesser punishment as he deems just and fit, and where a punishment of suspension without wages is imposed, it shall not exceed a period of two weeks.

(2) For the purposes of an inquiry under subsection (1), the employer may suspend the employee from work for a period not exceeding two weeks but shall pay him not less than half of his wages for such period;

Provided that if the inquiry does not disclose any misconduct on the part of the employee the employer shall forthwith restore to the employee the full amount of wages so withheld."

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