Fong: Labour Dept, IRD may throw out clear-cut disputes

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Jul 2003

PUTRAJAYA: The Government may ask for “clear-cut disputes” between workers and bosses which have been referred to the Labour or Industrial Relations Department for resolution to be thrown out. 

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said this was being considered as a measure to help both departments from being “clogged up” by unresolved cases. 

“For instance, in cases where it has been shown clearly that the worker has been dismissed on grounds of theft or something equally serious, we want these to be thrown out. 

“Our intention is to rule out frivolous disputes by having a minimum set of criteria ruling on which cases should be brought forward to the departments and which should be thrown out. 

“We hope both MTUC and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) will be agreeable to this suggestion,” he said after the weekly Cabinet meeting at his office yesterday. 

Dr Fong said other criteria might include a set of guidelines on ways to resolve conflicts between workers and bosses. 

On Monday, he announced that a task force had been set up to study alternatives available to resolving the thousands of dispute cases still pending in both departments. 

He had said that resolution of these disputes had been delayed due to the high number of cases referred to these departments when the ministry only had around 40 officers to deal with them. 

On another matter, Dr Fong said the ministry has established a National Competency Standard for computer users. 

“This standard will be a benchmark in validating one’s computer skills,” he said, adding that this was a step towards making local workers more competitive in information technology. 

“This competency standard – named Z003 – has been worked out by National Vocational Training Council and it will become the benchmark to validate a worker’s skills in ICT use. 

“Those workers who achieve the needs of this standard will be assumed to be competent and thus, will have taken an important step in making themselves 'k-workers.' They will receive a certificate for their test. 

“This standard will include competency tests in fields such as using computer and managing files, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, Internet and communication, and e-mail and newsgroups,” he added. 

The benchmark, said Dr Fong, had been set according to the National Occupational Skills Standard.  

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