[2023] 5 MLRA 96
Court of Appeal, Putrajaya
S Nantha Balan, Mariana Yahya, Wong Kian Kheong JJCA
[Civil Appeal No: WA-01(A)-83-02-2022]
S Nantha Balan, Mariana Yahya, Wong Kian Kheong JJCA


Wong Kian Kheong JCA:

A. Background

[1] The 1st respondent (1st Respondent) claimed that she had been appointed in 2018 by the appellant company (Appellant) to be the Appellant's Vice President. The Appellant however claimed that the 1st Respondent was not its employee but was instead an "independent agent" who had agreed to refer "high net worth" individuals to invest in its products and services in return for commission.

[2] By way of a letter dated 1 April 2019, the Appellant terminated the 1st Respondent's appointment with effect from 28 March 2019 (1st Respondent's Dismissal).

[3] The 1st Respondent filed Kuala Lumpur High Court Civil Suit No: WA-22NCvC-586-08/2019 on 20 August 2019 against, among others, the Appellant (Civil Suit). In the Civil Suit, the 1st Respondent had claimed for "renewal commission fees" amounting to RM1,149,680.00.

[4] On 11 April 2019, the 1st Respondent made a written representation to the Director General for Industrial Relations (DG) pursuant to s 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 (IRA) to be reinstated in her former employment with the Appellant (1st Respondent's Representation).

[5] By way of a letter dated 29 August 2019, the DG informed the President of the Industrial Court (IC) that the Minister of Human Resources (Minister) had decided to refer the 1st Respondent's Representation to IC for an award (Minister's Reference).

[6] In IC, the 1st Respondent's Statement of Case (SOC) only applied for, among others, "full wages and benefits" from the date of the 1st Respondent's Dismissal. The SOC did not pray for a reinstatement of the 1st Respondent's former employment with the Appellant (Reinstatement Remedy).

[7] On 13 December 2019, the Civil Suit was struck out by the High Court without any liberty for the 1st Respondent to file a fresh suit [High Court's Striking Out Order (Civil Suit)]. The 1st Respondent did not appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court's Striking Out Order (Civil Suit).

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