Tuesday, 19 September 2017

5 Most Misunderstood Terms in an Employment Contract

Author: Donovan Cheah (Partner) (Donovan & Ho)

Whether you are an employee or an employer, it’s important to have a basic understanding about the terms of an employment contract, and what they really mean. In our practice, we have come across many situations where an employment contract is signed, locked away in a filing cabinet, and completely forgotten about until a problem arises. It is only then when parties realise that they did not fully understand their contractual obligations.

This article will highlight some of the commonly misunderstood terms in an employment contract.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Misconduct Out of Office Hours: Is There a Fine Line?

Author: Amirul Izzat Hasri (Associate in the dispute resolution practice group at Donovan & Ho)
Article was provided by: Donovan Cheah (Partner, Donovan & Ho)
Can disciplinary action be taken against an employee who does something inappropriate outside office hours and outside of the company premises?

The law entails that employers can hold an employee accountable for his conduct if they can successfully establish a sufficient nexus between the employee’s off duty conduct and its impact on the business and image of the employer.

The common law position was highlighted in the case of The Post Office v Liddiard [2001] EWCA Civ 940, whereby the employee’s involvement in football hooliganism during the World Cup had brought bad publicity towards his employer. The Court found that the employee’s dismissal was valid as his conduct had brought his employer into disrepute. An employer can therefore justify a dismissal if they can prove that the employee’s conduct had tarnished, or had a considerable prospect of damaging the employer’s business image.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Maternity Leave & Redundancy — Know Your Rights

Author: Rachel Waters is a barrister who commenced her legal career in Employment Law

Australia has come a long way in providing a more equal playing field for women in the workplace. At one stage in the 1960’s, women who worked for the Commonwealth Government who married were forced to resign. Further, it was not until the 1970’s that anti-discrimination laws and parental leave laws began to address the fact that women suffered negative consequences in the workplace as a consequence of the bearing of children. However, Australia still has a long way to go in ensuring women are able to participate equally with men in the workplace in relation to status, responsibility and remuneration.

Parental leave laws are paramount in enabling women and same-sex parents to have children without major detriment to their short and long term careers. In addition, they serve to indirectly and partially address the ongoing gap in pay between men and women.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Thailand to create long-term retirement visa

By: Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates

Bangkok International Associates is a general corporate and commercial law firm

Thailand has for a long time had a retirement visa available. It is shortly to launch a long-term retirement visa, possibly to come into effect in August 2017, hoping to attract more foreign retirees to the country. In this article, we examine the existing law, the new proposals, and comment on them.

The existing retirement visa: The existing retirement visa concept is relatively simple in its requirements, as follows:

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Whatsapp Messages: Admissible in Court?

Author: Donovan Cheah (Partner, Donovan & Ho)
Whatsapp is a text messaging application that is used by more than 1 billion users in more than 180 countries. Its use has become so prevalent that it has become a primary mode of communication for many individuals. Many parties now use Whatsapp even for business purposes, such as communicating with clients, sending documents or even negotiating contracts.

As lawyers, one of the questions we get asked frequently is whether Whatsapp messages can be adduced as evidence in court.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Recovery of Expenses: Disbursement vs Reimbursement

This article was written by Ivy Ling Yieng Ping of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill.

1. It is common for a GST-registered business to incur expenses while making a supply of goods or services to clients. Generally, these expenses will be recovered subsequently from the clients. However, the commercial contract between the parties, more often than not, is silent on how the recovery of expenses should be treated for the purposes of GST.

2. This may create confusion, resulting in the recovery of expenses being given the wrong GST treatment (either GST is wrongfully charged or no GST has been charged when it should be) and ultimately resulting in the filing of an incorrect GST return.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Real Estate Transactions - GST Inclusive or Exclusive

This article was written by Ashley Lee Si Han of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. 

The goods and services tax (“GST”) has been with us since 1 April 2015 and we have seen its impact on various parts of our lives. In theory, it is a relatively straightforward tax regime that can nevertheless prove difficult in practice, especially in relation to GST on real estate transactions.

Since the introduction of GST in Malaysia, the parties to any real estate transactions have inevitably dealt with the insertion of GST clauses in their contracts. Judging from the precedents of GST disputes under real estate transactions in various Commonwealth jurisdictions, it is important to exercise vigilance in relation to all transaction documents by ensuring that you have the right GST clauses which reflect your intention. If you are relying on a standard “one size fits all” GST clause for all real estate transactions, it might contain several loopholes, which can be a costly mistake in the event of a dispute, given the significant financial impact of GST.