Mature PME triumphed over unjust dismissal

   Mr Lim was employed as a Technical Officer in 1993. Over the years, because of his significant contribution to the company, he was promoted three times, and eventually took on a managerial position. Mr Lim also received regular bonuses for his outstanding performance at work and had never received any letter of warning or complaint from his employer.

   Mr Lim was issued a letter of termination for alleged misconduct in May 2011. He knew that his dismissal was unfair. Since the management did not provide any good justification for his termination, Mr Lim decided to approach his union, the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) for help. The AUPE is an NTUC affiliated union representing the employees of Government Ministries, Public Bodies and Statutory Boards.

   After reviewing his case, AUPE agreed with Mr Lim that his dismissal was wrongful and unjust. They referred  this case to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Mr Lim’s employer argued that his dismissal was not a case of dismissal without notice of misconduct, but simply a contractual termination. Mr Lim’s employer thought that their irresponsible action would go unchallenged since they had given him one months’ notice. However, they had failed to consider that this improper dismissal had affected Mr Lim emotionally.

   Prior to Mr Lim’s dismissal, he was also being harassed at work. Apparently, the company’s senior management had tried to force Mr Lim to resign on a few occasions – they had changed the site offices’ lock to deny him access, and representatives from the company visited Mr Lim at his home when he was on sick leave in the guise of goodwill to urge him to resign. When these unethical actions of the company surfaced, Mr Lim’s case became stronger. After a few sessions of mediation, AUPE managed to negotiate for more than S$30,000 in compensation from his employer in April of 2013.

   Every employee deserves respect and fairness. AUPE helped to bridge the gap in communication between Mr Lim and his employer, it has also showed that a dedicated worker like Mr Lim deserves to be given the due regard and the right treatment. If you face any case of workplace harassment or unjust dismissal, do approach the U PME Centres to seek help and advice. With NTUC, help is right around the corner.

 

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