COMPLAINTS AND INQUIRIES
Director General’s power to inquire into complaints
69. (1) The Director General may inquire into and decide any dispute between an employee and his employer in respect of wages or any other payments in cash due to such employee under—
(a) any term of the contract of service between such employee and his employer;
(b) any of the provisions of this Act or any subsidiary legislation made thereunder; or
(c) the provisions of the Wages Councils Act 1947 [Act 195] or any order made thereunder,
and, in pursuance of such decision, may make an order in the prescribed form for the payment by the employer of such sum of money as he deems just without limitation of the amount thereof.
(2) The powers of the Director General under subsection (1) shall include the power to hear and decide, in accordance with the procedure laid down in this Part, any claim by—
(i) an employee against any person liable under section 33;
(ii) a contractor for labour against a contractor or sub- contractor for any sum which the contractor for labour claims to be due to him in respect of any labour provided by him under his contract with the contractor or sub-contractor; or
(iii) an employer against his employee in respect of indemnity due to such employer under subsection 13(1),
and to make such consequential orders as may be necessary to give effect to his decision.
(3) In addition to the powers conferred by subsections (1) and (2), the Director General may inquire into and confirm or set aside any decision made by an employer under subsection 14(1) and the Director General may make such consequential orders as may be necessary to give effect to his decision:
Provided that if the decision of the employer under paragraph 14(1)(a) is set aside, the consequential order of the Director General against such employer shall be confined to payment of indemnity in lieu of notice and other payments that the employee is entitled to as if no misconduct was committed by the employee:
Provided further that the Director General shall not set aside any decision made by an employer under paragraph 14(1)(c) if such decision has not resulted in any loss in wages or other payments payable to the employee under his contract of service:
And provided further that the Director General shall not exercise the power conferred by this subsection unless the employee has made a complaint to him under the provisions of this Part within sixty days from the date on which the decision under section 14 is communicated to him either orally or in writing by his employer.
(3A) An order made by the Director General for the payment of money under this section shall carry interest at the rate of eight per centum per annum, or at such other rate not exceeding eight per centum per annum as the Director General may direct, the interest to be calculated commencing on the thirty-first day from the date of the making of the order until the day the order is satisfied:
Provided that the Director General, on an application by an employer made within thirty days from the date of the making of the order, if he is satisfied that special circumstances exist, may determine any other date from which the interest is to be calculated.
(4) Any person who fails to comply with any decision or order of the Director General made under this section commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit; and shall also, in the case of a continuing offence, be liable to a daily fine not exceeding one hundred ringgit for each day the offence continues after conviction.
Limitation on power conferred by section 69
69A. Notwithstanding section 69, the Director General shall not inquire into, hear, decide or make any order in respect of any claim, dispute or purported dispute which, in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act 1967—
(a) is pending in any inquiry or proceedings under that Act;
(b) has been decided upon by the Minister under subsection 20(3) of that Act; or
(c) has been referred to, or is pending in any proceedings before, the Industrial Court.
Additional powers of Director General to inquire into complaints
69B. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act, the powers of the Director General under paragraph 69(1)(a) shall extend to employees whose wages per month exceed two thousand ringgit but does not exceed five thousand ringgit.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term .wages. means wages as defined in section 2 but does not include any payment by way of commission, subsistence allowance or overtime payment.
(3) Save for Parts XV and XVI which shall apply with the necessary modifications, the other provisions of this Act shall not apply to the employees referred to in subsection (1).
Claims for indemnity for termination of contract without notice
69C. (1) In the exercise of his powers under subsection 69B(1), the Director General may inquire into and decide any claim concerning any indemnity due to the employer or employee where the contract of service is terminated by either party without notice, or if notice was given, without waiting for the expiry of that notice.
(2) The indemnity due to the employer or employee under subsection (1) shall be a sum equal to the amount of wages which would have accrued to the employee during the term of the notice or during the unexpired term of the notice.
Order of Director General may be in writing
69D. Notwithstanding subsection 69(1), an order of the Director General made under subsection 69B(1) or 69C(1) for the payment by or to the employer or employee of a sum of money as the Director General deems just, without any limitation of amount, may be made in writing.
Penalty for offence
69E. A person who fails to comply with a decision or an order of the Director General made under subsection 69B(1) or 69C(1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit; and shall also, in the case of a continuing offence, be liable to a daily fine not exceeding one hundred ringgit for each day the offence continues after conviction.
Procedure in Director General’s inquiry
70. The procedure for disposing of questions arising under sections 69, 69B and 69C shall be as follows:
(a) the person complaining shall present to the Director General a written statement of his complaint and of the remedy which he seeks or he shall in person make a statement to the Director General of his complaint and of the remedy which he seeks;
(b) the Director General shall as soon as practicable thereafter examine the complainant on oath or affirmation and shall record the substance of the complainant’s statement in his case book;
(c) the Director General may make such inquiry as he deems necessary to satisfy himself that the complaint discloses matters which in his opinion ought to be inquired into and may summon in the prescribed form the person complained against, or if it appears to him without any inquiry that the complaint discloses matters which ought to be inquired into he may forthwith summon the person complained against:
Provided that if the person complained against attends in person before the Director General it shall not be necessary to serve a summons upon him;
(d) when issuing a summons to a person complained against the Director General shall give such person notice of the nature of the complaint made against him and the name of the complainant and shall inform him of the date, time and place at which he is required to attend and shall inform him that he may bring with him any witnesses he may wish to call on his behalf and that he may apply to the Director General for summonses to such persons to appear as witnesses on his behalf;
(e) when the Director General issues a summons to a person complained against he shall inform the complainant of the date, time and place mentioned therein and shall instruct the complainant to bring with him any witnesses he may wish to call on his behalf and may, on the request of the complainant and subject to any conditions as he may deem fit to impose, issue summonses to such witnesses to appear on behalf of the complainant;
(f) when at any time before or during an inquiry the Director General has reason to believe that there are any persons whose financial interests are likely to be affected by such decision as he may give on completion of the inquiry or who he has reason to believe have knowledge of the matters in issue or can give any evidence relevant thereto he may summon any or all of such persons;
(g) the Director General shall, at the time and place appointed, examine on oath or affirmation those persons summoned or otherwise present whose evidence he deems material to the matters in issue and shall then give his decision on the matters in issue;
(h) if the person complained against or any person whose financial interests the Director General has reason to believe are likely to be affected and who has been duly summoned to attend at the time and place appointed in the summons shall fail so to attend the Director General may hear and decide the complaint in the absence of such person notwithstanding that the interests of such person may be prejudicially affected by his decision;
(i) in order to enable a court to enforce the decision of the Director General, the Director General shall embody his decision in an order in such form as may be prescribed.
Director General’s record of inquiry
71. The Director General shall keep a case book in which he shall record the evidence of persons summoned or otherwise present and his decision and order in each matter in issue before him and shall authenticate the same by attaching his signature thereto and the record in such case book shall be sufficient evidence of the giving of any decision; and any person interested in such decision or order shall be entitled to a copy thereof free of charge and to a copy of the record upon payment of the prescribed fee.
Joinder of several complaints in one complaint
72. Where it appears to the Director General in any proceedings under this Part that there are more employees than one having a common cause for complaint against the same employer or person liable, it shall not be necessary for each such employee to make a separate complaint under this Part, but the Director General may, if he thinks fit, permit one or more of them to make a complaint and to attend and act on behalf of and generally to represent the others, and the Director General may proceed to a decision on the joint complaint or complaints of each and all such employees:
Provided that, where the Director General is of opinion that the interests of the employer or person liable are likely to be prejudiced by the non-attendance of any employee, he shall require the personal attendance of such employee.
Prohibitory order by Director General to third party
73. (1) Whenever the Director General shall have made an order under section 69, 69B or 69C against any employer or any person liable for the payment of any sum of money to any employee or contractor for labour and the Director General has reason to believe that there exists between such employer or person liable and any other person a contract in the course of the performance of which the employee or sub-contractor performed the work in respect of which the order was made, the Director General may summon such other person and, if after enquiry he is satisfied that such a contract exists, may make an order in the prescribed form prohibiting him from paying to the employer or person liable and requiring him to pay to the Director General any money (not exceeding the amount found due to such employee or contractor for labour) admitted by him to be owing to the employer or person liable in respect of such contract:
Provided that where such other person admits to the Director General in writing that money is owing by him under such contract to the employer or person liable he need not be summoned to attend before the Director General and the Director General may make such order in his absence:
Provided further that where such other person is liable as a principal under subsection 33(1) to pay any wages due by the employer or person liable and where the money admitted by him to be owing to the employer or person liable is not sufficient to pay the whole of such wages nothing in this subsection shall relieve him of his liability for the balance of such wages up to the amount for which he is liable under proviso (b) to the said subsection.
(2) The payment of any money in pursuance of an order under subsection (1) shall be a discharge and payment up to the amount so paid of money due to the employer or person liable under the contract.
No fees for summons: service of summons
74. (1) No fee shall be charged by the Director General in respect of any summons issued by him under this Part.
(2) Any such summons may be served by a Sessions Court or a Magistrates’ Court on behalf of the Director General, or in such other manner, and by such person, as the Director General may deem fit.
Enforcement of Director General’s order by Sessions Court
75. Where any order has been made by the Director General under this Part, and the same has not been complied with by the person to whom it is addressed, the Director General may send a certified copy thereof to the Registrar of a Sessions Court, or to the Court of a First Class Magistrate, having jurisdiction in the place to which the order relates or in the place where the order was made, and the said Registrar or Court, as the case may be, shall cause the said copy to be recorded and thereupon the said order shall for all purposes be enforceable as a judgment of the Sessions Court, or of the Court of the First Class Magistrate, as the case may be, notwithstanding that the same may in respect of amount or value be in excess of the ordinary jurisdiction of the said Court:
Provided that no sale of immovable property shall for the purposes of such enforcement be ordered except by the High Court.
Submission by Director General to High Court on point of law
76. (1) In any proceedings under this Part the Director General may, if he thinks fit, submit any question of law for the decision of a Judge of the High Court and if he does so he shall decide the proceedings in conformity with such decision.
(2) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any decision of a Judge under subsection (1).
Appeal against Director General’s order to High Court
77. (1) If any person whose financial interests are affected is dissatisfied with the decision or order of the Director General under section 69, 69B, 69C, 73 or subsection 81D(4) such person may appeal to the High Court.
(2) Subject to any rules made under section 4 of the Subordinate Court Rules Act 1955 [Act 55], the procedure in an appeal to the High Court shall be the procedure in a civil appeal from a Sessions Court with such modifications as the circumstances may require.
Employee’s remedy when employer about to abscond
78. (1) If any employee complains to a Magistrate that he has reasonable grounds for believing that his employer, in order to evade payment of his wages, is about to abscond, the Magistrate may summon such employer and direct him to show cause why he should not be required to give security by bond to remain in Malaysia until such wages are paid; and if, after hearing the evidence of such employer, the Magistrate decides that such bond shall be given the Magistrate may order such employer to give security by bond in such sum as to the Magistrate seems reasonable, that he will not leave Malaysia until the Magistrate is satisfied that all the just claims of such employee against him for wages have been paid or settled.
(2) If the employer fails to comply with the terms of such order to give security, he shall be detained in prison until arrangements have been made to the satisfaction of the Magistrate for settling the claims of such employee:
(a) such employer shall be released at any time by the committing Magistrate on security being furnished or on his paying either the whole or such part as to the Magistrate seems reasonable of all just claims of such employee against him for wages or on the filing of a petition in bankruptcy by or against him; and
(b) in no case shall the period of such detention exceed three months.
(3) The bond to be given by an employer shall be a personal bond with one or more sureties, and the penalty for breach of the bond shall be fixed with due regard to the circumstances of the case and the means of the employer.
(4) If on or after a complaint by any employee under subsection (1) it appears to the Magistrate that there is good ground for believing that the employer complained against has absconded or is absconding or is about to abscond, the Magistrate may issue a warrant for the arrest of such employer and such employer shall be detained in custody pending the hearing of the complaint unless he finds good and sufficient security to the satisfaction of the Magistrate for his appearance to answer the complaint.
(5) For the purposes of this section a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director General and issued to the Magistrate to the effect that wages claimed have been paid or settled shall be sufficient evidence of the payment or settlement thereof.
Powers of Director General to investigate possible offences under this Act
79. (1) Whenever the Director General has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under this Act has been committed, or wishes to inquire into any matter dealt with by this Act or into any dispute as to such matter or into the death of or injury to an employee (not the subject of an investigation under the Electricity Supply Act 1990 [Act 447], or the Factories and Machinery Act 1967, or any written law relating to mining for the time being in force in Malaysia or any part thereof) or into any matter connected with the keeping of registers and other documents, or whenever any person complains to the Director General of any breach of any provision of this Act, the Director General may summon any person who he has reason to believe can give information respecting such offence or the subject matter of such inquiry or complaint.
(2) If upon inquiry as aforesaid the Director General is of opinion that an offence has been committed, he may institute such criminal proceedings as he may deem necessary.
(3) A summons issued under this section shall be in such form as may be prescribed.
Examination on summons by the Director General
80. Any person summoned by the Director General under this Part shall be legally bound to attend at the time and place specified in the summons and to answer truthfully all questions which the Director General may put to him.
Right of employee to appear before Director General
81. No employer shall prevent or attempt to prevent any employee from appearing before the Director General in pursuance of this Part.