High Court Accepts Variation to Notice of Termination
Gapurna Permai Sdn Bhd v Bazlaa Binti Fadhullah
(High Court Civil Appeal No. WA-16-33-11/2021)
Earlier today, the High Court allowed an appeal by Gapurna Permai Sdn Bhd (“the Appellant”), the Master Franchisee for Costa Coffee in Malaysia, to set aside a decision by the Labour Court which had allowed a contractual claim by a former Barista (“the Respondent”) in respect of the payment in lieu of her notice period.
The Labour Court had heard the matter pursuant to section 69B of the Employment Act 1955 which extends the power of the Labour Officer to employees whose wages exceed RM2,000.00 but do not exceed RM5,000.00. The provision now had been deleted in the recent amendments to the Act pursuant to the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 which recently came into effect on 1.1.2023.
The issue before the High Court was whether the Learned Labour Officer was correct in his interpretation of the Respondent’s notice of termination which contained a variation of her notice period from three (3) months to one (1) month.
The High Court had allowed the appeal on the basis that the Respondent had signed off her acceptance to the notice of termination and that her subsequent conduct in requesting for an early release was inconsistent with her claim for payment in lieu of her notice period from the Appellant.
The principle of approbation and reprobation and the application of the parol evidence rule also formed the basis of the Appellant’s submissions in support of its position that the Respondent’s notice period had indeed been varied with the knowledge and agreement of the Respondent.
Th appeal was heard by Justice Dato' Amarjeet Singh a/l Serjit Singh at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in the Civil Appeal No. WA-16-33-11/2021.