Poor coordination between agencies in employment dispute

Six months ago, my job at a reputable multinational corporation was terminated suddenly.

My termination was just before Chinese New Year and when variable bonus payout, salary increment and performance appraisal was due.

The company refused to give me a reason, despite my repeated attempts to seek an answer. My request to resign was also rejected.

As this was an unfair dismissal, I made an appeal to the Ministry of Manpower within one month.

Unfortunately, after mediation by the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) and consideration from MOM for approximately five months, I was told that my appeal was unsuccessful.

The TADM officer who corresponded with me was very pro-employer. He also promised to send me his contact details by a specific date but failed to do so.

When I called from time to time to check on the status of my appeal, TADM would say my case was with the MOM, while MOM would tell me the case is with TADM. Both agencies claimed not to know what is happening to my appeal.

When I approached the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep), I was given information that contradicted what TADM was doing.

There was an obvious lack of coordination between the three agencies handling my dispute.

I wonder how many employees underwent the same treatment by their employers and are unable to seek redress.

I have two suggestions to improve the management of employment disputes.

First, MOM should make it mandatory for employers to offer employees the option to resign in the case of a termination of employment contract by the employer.

Second, there should be an online platform where employees can file their case online. This allows for a coordinated approach between the MOM, TADM and Tafep.

Employees can get updates by logging into the online platform. This will also reduce the number of queries these government agencies have to attend to.

Lim Chia Yeo