By Kay del Rosario
Siti Sarah Jamil is a mother of three young children who worked as an admin assistant for a construction firm. Without warning, she was let go simply “due to COVID-19”.
Sarah felt aggrieved as she was not given proper reason for her dismissal, and a month later, the company hired somebody else to do her job. She filed a wrongful dismissal case at the Employment Claims Tribunal.
Being an NTUC member, her union BATU (Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union) stepped in to guide her through the process, strengthen her arguments, and prepare her for the trial. The union could not represent her at the hearing but literally backed her up… waiting just outside the courtroom from start to finish.
Sarah fought for what was right and got just compensation in the end. But for her, the biggest reward was realising that she would always have someone to walk by her side through the trials of life.
Retrenchment vs. Wrongful Dismissal…
Singapore’s Employment Act defines retrenchment as “dismissal on the ground of redundancy or by reason of any reorganisation of the employer’s profession, business, trade or work.”
While wrongful dismissal is “the dismissal of an employee without just or sufficient cause.”