From 1 April 2019, all employees (excluding seafarers, domestic workers and public servants) who wish to file a claim against their employers for wrongful dismissal will first undergo mediation at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). If the dispute remains unresolved after mediation, they can file the claim at the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT).
Move to digitalisation will enhance the employment dispute resolution framework
This change follows the amendments to the Employment Act and Employment Claims Act to enhance the employment dispute resolution framework. Claims for wrongful dismissal may be filed where an employee believes the dismissal was without just or sufficient cause, or for reasons such as discrimination, deprivation of benefits, to punish for exercising an employment right, or where the reason for dismissal given by the employer was false.
Under the enhanced employment dispute resolution framework, employees with a wrongful dismissal claim must first undergo mediation at TADM before filing the claim at the ECT. Should the dispute remain unresolved after mediation, they will receive a Claim Referral Certificate (CRC) from TADM. With the CRC, they may file the claim online through the State Courts’ Community Justice and Tribunals System for their dispute to be adjudicated by the ECT.
When adjudicating the claim, the ECT will refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Wrongful Dismissal published by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Online platform one-stop shop for wrongful dismissal claims
Prior to 1 April 2019, employees with both salary-related and wrongful dismissal claims had to file their claims separately – salary-related claims mediated at TADM and adjudicated by the ECT, and wrongful dismissal claims dealt with by the MOM. With the enhanced employment dispute resolution framework, they now have access to a one-stop service for both types of claims.