The Right To Paid Medical Leave Commerce Essay

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Of course, almost everyone looks forward to such holidays. Some employees may extend their holidays by taking annual leave. Others may say they are unwell and be absent from work, which brings us to the question of justifiable absence on medical grounds.

When an employee goes on leave and there is no back-up, this can be quite disruptive to workflow. However, when an employee falls sick, such absence is unavoidable. The need for such an employee to be paid is recognised by Labour laws which provide for the employee to be paid for the duration of the sickness.

Such a right to be paid while on leave due to sickness is neither unlimited nor unqualified. The Employment Act 1955 provides for a minimum sick leave for employees who come within its scope.

In other cases, it depends on the contract of employment. However, it is unlikely that those outside the scope of the Act would enjoy a lesser entitlement. It is in all cases open to the employer to provide for more sick leave entitlement than what is stipulated as the absolute minimum by statutory enactment.

Where the Employment Act 1955 applies, an employee is entitled to paid sick leave of 14, 18 and 22 days depending on whether the employee has worked for less than two years, between two years and less than five years, or five years and more. Where hospitalisation is involved, the entitlement is 60 days.

This entitlement to sick paid leave is on the basis of a certificate by a medical practitioner employed by the employer or otherwise by any other medical practitioner or a medical officer. The latter refers to a doctor who is in the employ of the Federal or State Government.

In a way, the Employment Act 1955 seems to suggest that the resort to a medical officer or a medical practitioner generally is only where no medical practitioner is appointed by the employer or where resort to such appointed medical practitioner is not practical due to the nature or circumstances of the illness or because of time and distance considerations.

There are instances where an employer may feel reluctant to accept such a certificate from a non-employer appointed doctor. On a general basis, it would not be permissible to disregard or ignore such a certificate. But the dissatisfaction may remain.

An irritated employer poses a question with different aspects. Is an employee entitled to paid sick leave if such employee is unable to do his work or merely because there is a certificate?

Our reader is upset about employees obtaining medical leave when they are not completely disabled from performing their duties. He gives an example of a situation where an employee's role is to receive calls and record incoming mails. However, the employee has a fractured wrist and the doctor says that it will take two months to remove the cast. The employee asks for medical leave for this period and the doctor obliges.

But it could be a situation where the employee can walk about, go shopping and do most things that are normally done, except that the left arm or a part of it is immobilised. Is medical leave in such circumstances justified?

Unhappy as the employer may be, a certificate by a medical practitioner or medical officer has to be recognised. But it would be open to the employer to write to the doctor concerned to inform him of the nature of the employee's responsibilities and role, and to ask whether in the light of this information, the doctor would review the "unfit to work" statement.

If the doctor still stands by the certificate issued despite the explanation, it would be open to the employer to send the employee to another doctor to be assessed as to the "unfit to work" assertion. This may show whether there is a basis to grant such leave. However, this is an option.

Then there is a case of an employee who lives south of the town. The office is in the middle of the town, and so is the company's appointed medical practitioner. However, the said employee goes through the middle of the town to get a medical certificate from a medical practitioner in the north of the town.

Some employees seem to think that just because they are entitled to or need to see a doctor, it justifies being away from work for the entire day. This is contrary to the rationale for such leave, which is that the employee is "not fit to work".

Given the existing legislation and industrial relations practices, the law leans more towards the employee, at least in terms of onus of proof. This can allow employees who are not fully committed to their employment or who are not diligent, to exploit the situation though the discretion exercised by a doctor and the need for consultation.

There are also cases where "sick leave" is for the asking. A medical certificate is given for the rest of the day, if not the next day as well. This could sometimes be without a real assessment of unfitness to work.

Of course, this is not to say that there are doctors who will refuse such a request when there is no basis. Others may take a middle approach by saying the patient is only fit to "do light work".

Then there are employees whose perception of sick leave is that it is a "right" that they must make full use of. Thus they go to doctors with complaints that they are unwell and use this where possible to exhaust all available sick leave.

Given this scenario, the state of the law, the practice and the discretion that is entrusted to doctors, any dissatisfaction on the part of the employer that lingers on, would be difficult to address. All that can be done would be to evaluate the employee when it comes to a review of emoluments and further progress in the firm.

SUMMARY of first articles

Questionable sick leave

This article is arguments about the sick leaves by the employees that certified by non-employer appointed doctor and the employers feel that the employees are tents to be getting more sick leaves.

He point out that when an employee goes on leave and there is no back-up, it might affecting the workflow. However, he also feels that when an employee falls sick, such absence is unavoidable. The need for such an employee to be paid is recognised by Labour laws which provide for the employee to be paid for the duration of the sickness. He also thinks that such a right to be paid while on leave due to sickness is neither unlimited nor unqualified.

The author thinks that the existing legislation and industrial relations practices which the law leans more towards the employee, at least in terms of onus of proof. He also state that with this, it allow employees who are not fully committed to their employment or who are not diligent, to exploit the situation though the discretion exercised by a doctor and the need for consultation.

Besides that, he also gave a situation where the employees might abuse the sick leave by overstate the health condition. Given that scenario, the state of the law, the practice and the discretion that is entrusted to doctors, any dissatisfaction on the part of the employer that lingers on, would be difficult to address.

As conclusion his suggests to evaluate the employee when it comes to a review of emoluments and further progress in the firm.

(256 words)

Second Articles

Wednesday July 18, 2012

What's minimum wage?

I REFER to the Minimum Wages Order which the Human Resources Minister made by notification in the Gazette on July 16.

Although the said Order comes into operation on Jan 1, it is frustrating and appalling that it does not define what components can constitute "wages" to make up the minimum wage of RM900 for Peninsula Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

Throughout the Order, the term "wages" is used repeatedly without denoting clearly and explicitly whether the term refers to merely basic pay and/or includes fixed and regular allowances paid to employees e.g. shift allowances, attendance allowances, meal allowances, overtime meal allowances, laundry allowances, competency allowances, etc.

To add to the ambiguity, the illustration in Section 4 of the Order, introduces yet another undefined term "current basic wage".

Is this meant to suggest that only basic wage can be part of the minimum wage?

While I understand that it is only an illustration, this does not help for purposes of clarity.

The National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011, under which the said Order was made, defines wages as having the same meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the Employment Act 1955.

The definition of wages under the Employment Act 1955 is "wages refer to basic wages and all other payments in cash payable to an employee for work done in respect of his contract of service."

It excludes five types of payments which are mostly clearly defined. The definition of wages in the Employment Act 1955 is by no means a clear science.

Debate rages in the Labour Court even now, some 50 plus years after the Act was made law, as to what amounts to wages or not.

If one refers to paragraph three of the First Schedule of the Employment Act 1955, it states: "For the purposes of this Schedule wages means wages as defined in section 2 but shall not include any payment by way of commission, subsistence allowance and overtime payment".

This means that under section 2 of the Employment Act 1955, commissions are part of wages. And since "wages" in the said Order refers to the definition of wages in section 2 of the Employment Act 1955, it follows that commissions are part of wages to make up the minimum wage.

Say if I hire a salesman and pay him a basic of RM500. In some months, when sales are good, he earns commissions in excess of RM400, and therefore his wages are more than RM900.

In other months, when sales are bad, his commissions are below RM400 and thus his wages are below RM900. It follows then that for the months where sales are good, I as an employer have not flouted the said Order whereas in the other months, I am in breach of the said Order.

Am I as an employer expected to watch the commission trend of each of my salesmen?

Imagine a car dealer who has 50 dealerships each hiring 20 salesmen. How am I to track this?

I do not underestimate the complexity of the issue of what components should or should not be part of wages.

I will be the first to agree that it is not an easy subject. However, if we are inclined to come up with a minimum wage with such uncertainty revolving around the word "wages", surely the fixing of a minimum wage is to put the proverbial cart before the horse.

Let me remind the learned folks at the Human Resources Ministry and the Attorney-General's Chambers that all these ambiguities are not doing any good to the employers or the employees; neither is it going to assist in its smooth implementation.

Unless a holistic and precise approach is made to the question of what constitutes "wages", this very attempt to introduce a new regulation on minimum wages appears to be hurried through for political expediency and far removed from the concept of a high income society.

FRUSTRATED HR PRACTITIONER

Kuala Lumpur

SUMMARY of second articles

What's minimum wage?

This article is about arguments by the author about minimum wages act recently imposed by Malaysian government. The author feel that it is frustrating and appalling that it does not define what components can constitute "wages" to make up the minimum wage of RM900 for Peninsula Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

The author state out that the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011 had defines wages as having the same meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the Employment Act 1955. Other than that, the author also point out that under section 2 of the Employment Act 1955, commissions are part of wages. And since "wages" in the said Order refers to the definition of wages in section 2 of the Employment Act 1955, it follows that commissions are part of wages to make up the minimum wage.

As conclusion, the writer suggested that a holistic and precise approach is made to the question of what constitutes "wages", and this is to introduce a new regulation on minimum wages appears to be hurried through for political expediency and far removed from the concept of a high income society.

(196 words)

Third Articles

Monday October 15, 2012

What do employees want ?

Talking HR by Melissa Norman

They are looking forward to reward and recognition from their bosses, among others

Mott says new graduates bring a fresh view on how to do things, so they tend to challenge expectations like how long it should take to do a given assignment.

THE newest issue on the block is generational diversity. Yes, age has quietly moved up the ladder and has now taken its place beside gender, race and culture. In workplaces globally, populations are working longer duration in terms of retirement age.

Take the case of Malaysia where the retirement age for both private and public sector has been increased to 60 years old. At the same time, demand for fresh talent is skyrocketing. And in the middle, many businesses are "right-sizing", merging and acquisitioning at such a rate, that people of all ages are thrown together more quickly and more intensely than ever before.

In such lean markets, business owners find that they need more work done, better work done, faster and with fewer people. Employees are given shorter runways to perform and be productive. But many lament that the supply of skilled workers is simply not growing fast enough to meet their needs a case of non-equilibrium of demand and supply.

Some employers have figured out ways to recruit dynamic, fresh talent but only to find that there is disconnect with older, seasoned employees over things like work ethics, respect for authority, dress codes, etc.

Among a growing number of cross-generational complaints is heard from folks of every age. "No one wants to clock in the time anymore. They want everything fast, right now without earning the right. They just don't have the patience and will to put their backs into things," says a head of operations in a manufacturing plant.

"Please let us do what we want as long as our work gets done. No need to follow strict office hours, structure or a fixed sitting place. Allow me space to express my creativity," pleads a 28-year-old account executive.

"Colleagues? I like working with mixed races and I don't mind working with older or younger people. Respect for each other's space, beliefs and practices are important," firmly states a 32-year-old in the media industry.

"The bosses must understand the employees' situation. Some of us really don't like getting stuck in traffic jams. So why can't they arrange to give us flexi-hours and suitable equipment (notebooks with net access)? Or transport to work? Have a heart and help us sort our concerns. And we will be happy to work. We are not lazy people," says a bright 24-year-old when asked why he left full time employment recently to freelance with a boutique production house.

"Salary and benefits wise, I am fine as long as they follow the market rate. But I really don't like office politics. All I want is to come in to work, do a good job and earn decent wages. I liked my former boss but I couldn't stand the back-biting by the rest of my colleagues. In the end, I left as I didn't enjoy coming in to the office anymore and began to have difficulty concentrating on my work," confided a 45-year-old working with a multinational.

A 58-year-old legal clerk who's still employed, shares: "Employers need to realise that some of us older professionals have grown children, and even grandchildren. We may be divorced or widowed. And we have incredible experience, skills and time to work. And we want to work."

That said, we also have a 20-year-old in a local college asking:"How can I get experience when everyone is asking for experience' before they give me a job? It's so irritating."

Yet companies like General Motors are hiring thousands of IT experts and according to CIO Randy Mott, around 25% to 35% of those new jobs are likely to be filled by people coming out of college.

To quote Mott: "I'm looking for a high level of energy, and that's what I get. New graduates also bring a fresh view on how to do things, so they tend to challenge expectations like how long it should take to do a given assignment. They don't know what they don't know. And they don't know that something's not possible. Within a very short time, they rewrite the rulebook for how long it takes to do something.

"Of course, new graduates lack the technical experience and the business and industry-savvy that more veteran IT pros have. But IT always requires a high degree of learning given the rate of technology change, and college grads can learn as fast as any other worker (if they set their minds to it).

"Put those newbies around experienced IT pros who are true experts from whom they can learn. If I think about skills, I think: Hire experts, and hire college grads, and you'll drive a very productive workforce. And great people want to work around great people, so that helps on the retention side," he added.

So, looking at the glass half full, what we have is the opportunity today to work at turning all these disengagement into collaboration. "You're too young" and "you're too old" are phases that need to be eliminated from our vocabulary. Knowledge workers? Do they add value to the workplace and to their own lives outside work is critical.

People in today's workforce want to know what you have to offer them today, tomorrow, next week, next month in return for their added value. Very few are talking about five to10-year plans anymore when it comes to fixed employment.

In our experience in the staffing industry and working on data analysis with numerous research firms, we found the top factors that workers today (and of the near future) look for in offers of employment:

Rewards and recognition,

Flexible working arrangements and work locations,

Career roadmap which is achievable,

Access to leaders of various levels and not just the immediate superior,

Clarity of work scope, outcomes and transparency in decision-making,

Allowing freedom to share views, comments and innovation,

Opportunities for cross border exposure,

Leaders who are inspiring and great ambassadors of the company,

Strong employer branding and

Company with good financial performance.

In 2009, I had confidently shared that the job market is always competitive regardless of economic cycles.

"Once you secure the job, work hard, show enthusiasm in your work, and display good work ethics. Take the initiative to enroll in part-time study or sign up for training courses that will add value to your job and the company." Today, this statement still stands.

ï‚· In Melissa Norman's role as the managing director of a staffing and recruitment company, she interacts with many candidates of diverse cultures, race, capabilities and skill sets. The energy and passion of the many talent and candidates that she meets, continues to drive her in her 17 years in the industry.

SUMMARY of third articles

What do employees want?

This article is about what employees want from their employees. The demand for fresh talent is increasing drastically regardless the size of the corporation. In such lean markets, employers find that they need more work done, better work done, faster and with fewer people to save their operating cost. Employees are given shorter runways to perform and be productive. But many lament that the supply of skilled workers is simply not growing fast enough to meet their needs a case of non-equilibrium of demand and supply.

Many rules and regulations that set by the employers might create dissatisfaction to them. People in today's workforce want to know what employers have to offer them today, tomorrow, next week, next month in return for their added value. Very few are talking about five to10-year plans anymore when it comes to fixed employment.

The author also show few research from various firms and found out that the top factors that workers today (and of the near future) look for in offers of employment which is Rewards and recognition, to have flexible working arrangements and work locations, career roadmap which is achievable, access to leaders of various levels and not just the immediate superior, clarity of work scope, outcomes and transparency in decision-making, allowing freedom to share views, and etc.

In conclusion, the author had confidently shared that the job market is always competitive regardless of economic cycles. She also state that the statement about once the people secure the job and show a positive job ethic to employers, and take the initiative to enrol in part-time study or sign up for training courses that will add value to the employee's job and the company and till now it is agreed by the community.

(290 words)

Fourth Articles

Sunday July 1, 2012

How to retain good workers

By DR ALIA AZALEA

Organisations must formulate strategies to tap the skills and potential of their employees to the fullest and keep the best from leaving.

RETENTION is a noun in the English language that simply means to keep something rather than lose it. In an organisational context, employee retention means the capability of the organisation to keep or retain people who work for them rather than lose them.

There are many reasons why organisations are unable to retain their employees. They include downsizing, when the organisation is not making enough profits which in turn leads to reducing the number of its workers to cut costs. It also includes corporate re-engineering, where the organisation thinks it is not being effective, which means it would liquidate or combine some departments to reach higher effectivity.

While these reasons are fundamental and need serious attention in an organisation, any talk or references made to "retention" usually refers to keeping its good or best employees happy so that they will not leave.

So why is employee retention important to organisations? It all boils down to keeping the operational costs as low as possible. When an organisation hires an individual, a financial investment has been made to attract, select, and train that individual for a suitable job.

Every time an employee leaves, a replacement has to be found and the process of attracting, selecting and training a new employee has to be conducted all over again.

This process takes time, energy and financial resources which the organisation would much prefer to invest elsewhere. In order for it to be able to retain employees, we can refer to the framework proposed by Benjamin Schneider (1987) called Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA). What this framework introduces is a step-by-step method that organisations can utilise in an effort to prevent their employees from leaving.

Attraction

The first step is to draw the interest of individuals who have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO) suitable for the job as well as the organisation, to apply for the job. As an example, hiring a store manager for a retail business would mean that they meet certain requirements and that includes knowledge of the retail sector, the ability to think on their feet due to the job's fast-pace, people skills which will enable one to communicate well with others, and a bubbly personality

Once the KSAO for the job has been determined, the organisation or establishment may then want to think about the image that it would like to present to attract the most suitable applicants and achieve the best person-organisational fit.

Every organisation has its own culture, that is, language, values, attitudes, beliefs and customs; its climate, which is the collective view of the people within the environment in which they work; and practices, that is the policies, structures and actions of the organisation. These factors are determined by the people working within the organisation itself.

Every individual's interest and personality is different, thus, it only makes sense that they would be attracted to different career choices.

In general, people would crave work environments that fit their personality. One of the main reasons of voluntary turnover where individuals decide to quit their respectve jobs, instead of being forced to, is because they no longer "fit in". This is why presenting the correct image is important in attracting the right people to an organisation.

Selection

The second step after attracting the right people who meet the KSAO is to choose the best amongst them. This is where the person-job fit is important. When an organisation is selecting new employees, they would choose those whom they think are the most compatible with the organisation and the job.

As an example, A and B apply for a store manager's post. Based on the KSAO, both meet all the requirements, but the organisation may decide to hire B instead of A because B has the personal attributes that fits better with the organisation.

Selecting the right people for the job is important for employee retention because when an individual has the KSAO requirements for a job, they would perform better and usually be rewarded by the organisation.

With the reward comes the feeling of being appreciated, which would lead to being satisfied with one's job. Satisfaction with their job is usually one of the main reasons why employees stay in an organisation.

Training

Individuals do need to have the basic KSAOs required to do the job upon being hired. However, organisations, just like individuals, have a need that changes across time to adjust to the ever-changing global conditions.

To meet these needs, organisations need to invest in providing continuous opportunity for growth for their employees, thus, enabling them to keep up with the changes.

An example of such development would be to provide training for store managers when the organisation decides to diversify its market. This is called Diversity Training.

Such a move will enable the managers to cope better with the changes of their customers and employees. An employee's intention to leave may occur when during its "organic" development, organisations overlook the need to train their employees.

In such situations, employees realise that the organisation no longer fits with their goals and personality, and they would move on to other organisations that in their opinion is a better fit for them.

When an employee is provided with growth opportunity, they would feel more appreciated and that will improve their job performance. Individuals who are satisfied with their job are less likely to leave the organisation.

Attrition

The process of employees leaving the organisation because they think that the organisation no longer fits with their personality and life goals can be called attrition. When people leave the organisation, a more "homogeneous" group stays.

They are the people who were initially interested in the organisation.

Although homogeneity may be good, because everyone in the organisation shares the same vision and mission, it may also not be so beneficial.

When an organisation is filled with like-minded people, it may become stagnant and unable to grow due to lack of new ideas. Therefore, although organisations should recognise the compatibility of employees who stay after attrition, they also need to consider the side effects of homogeneity.

Role of I/O Psychologist

The role of the Industrial and Organisational Psychologist or commonly known as I/O psychologists, is to help develop strategies that build a better organisation by applying psychological principles and methods to critical issues related to business, including talent management, assessment, selection, training, organisational development, performance, and work-life balance.

Such psychologists, who may be hired as internal or external consultants by organisations, will be able to help such establishments in retaining their best employees.

An I/O psychologist would be able to identify the culture, climate and practices of the organisation and suggest ways to attract, select and train new employees.

By being clear about the KSAO required for a job, organisations would then be able to formulate strategies to attract and select the most compatible people.

With a slight investment in training, these establishments would also be able to avoid unnecessary turnover, and instead encourage attrition and retain the best people.

> The writer is an industrial/organisational psychologist and lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Sunway University, Petaling Jaya.

SUMMARY of fourth articles

How to retain good workers

This article is about the methods for the employers to retain their workers. There are many reasons why organizations are unable to retain their employees. They include downsizing, when the organization is not making enough profits which in turn leads to reducing the number of its workers to cut costs. It also includes corporate re-engineering, where the organization thinks it is not being effective, which means it would liquidate or combine some departments to reach higher effectiveness.

Next, the writer view out the important to retention in an organization. This is due to when every time an employee leaves, a replacement has to be found and the process of attracting, selecting and training a new employee has to be conducted all over again.

This process takes time, energy and financial resources which the organisation would much prefer to invest elsewhere. In order for it to be able to retain employees, we can refer to the framework proposed by Benjamin Schneider (1987) called Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA). What this framework introduces is a step-by-step method that organisations can utilise in an effort to prevent their employees from leaving. The step includes attraction, selection, training, attrition, and the Role of industrial and organizational Psychologist.

As conclusion the writer states that with a slight investment in training, it would be able to avoid unnecessary turnover, and instead encourage attrition and retain the best people.

(229 words)

Fifth Articles

Thursday May 3, 2012

Job demands long hours

THE recent tragic death of a young doctor (The Star, April 12) has led to renewed discussions on the working conditions and training of housemen in Malaysia. In initial news reports, working long hours was implicated as a source of stress for the young doctor.

In fact, the complaints about "long working hours" of housemen had been forthcoming for some time and the Health Ministry implemented a flexi-hours system for housemen in the third quarter of last year.

The Malaysian Medical Associa­tion (MMA) has been monitoring the system since its implementation, and has continually sought feedback from housemen as well as from medical officers (MOs) and specialists involved in houseman training.

We have called on the ministry to carry out a comprehensive review of the new system, not just in terms of the workload of the housemen but, more importantly, in terms of how it affects their training.

Based on feedback, we are concerned about the reduction in houseman training time, resulting in inadequate exposure to patients, limited opportunities for observing and performing basic procedures and operations, and lack of continuity of care for patients.

We would like to emphasise that the housemanship training period is a critical time in a doctor's career, the time when he/she applies all that he/she has learnt during medical school in real-life situations - fully supervised by more senior doctors.

It is thus extremely important that the young doctor uses this time to learn, and to gain as much experience as possible, as it will be the foundation of his/her future career in medicine.

The medical profession is such that one cannot work "by the clock". Sickness does not recognise "office hours" or "shift times".

When caring for a sick patient, e.g. someone who has just been admitted or someone who has taken a turn for the worse, a doctor has to examine, send for the necessary tests, and do the needful to resuscitate and stabilise the patient before "clocking out".

The nature of the profession calls for such a commitment and dedication, and this culture is instilled in us during our formative years - medical school and housemanship.

Young doctors are also taught to put their patients' interests and welfare first, before their own.

Sadly, this culture of commitment and caring seems to be getting lost in the name of improving "quality of life".

This brings up what is, in our opinion, a more important negative impact of the flexi-hours system - the possibility that this will result in doctors lacking a sense of responsibility for a patient.

While discussing the plight of young house officers, the equally (or more) strenuous working hours of MOs and specialists in government hospitals may have been forgotten.

Training and supervision of housemen is the responsibility of MOs and specialists in the respective departments, who are already overworked with patient care.

These more senior doctors are finding it difficult to cope with training the large numbers of house officers being posted to our public hospitals, especially the many who lack basic medical knowledge and skills.

Which of course brings into question the quality of our medical graduates now. In this regard, the MMA welcomes the recently tabled amendments to the Medical Act 1971 which includes a proposal for the establishment of a Medical Qualifying Committee to look into the accreditation of qualifications of both local and international training institutions.

However, we are disappointed that the original proposal - for a common qualifying examination for medical graduates - was set aside.

We call upon the Malaysian Medical Council to carefully examine the quality of medical schools (local and international) and to take the necessary action where shortfalls in quality occur.

With regard to training of housemen, the MMA feels strongly that decisions on these matters should be left to medical professionals, with no external interference from parents, politicians or others.

As doctors, we know what training is needed to produce a good doctor, and hard work and long hours are certainly some of the necessary "evils" that we cannot escape from!

The MMA calls on the ministry to ensure that the number of house doctors posted to each unit is based on the number of trainers (i.e. specialists and MOs) available.

Only then will specialists and medical officers be able to guide each houseman in the right direction.

The MMA would also like to recognise the specialist and medical officers who have continued to train housemen despite being overworked themselves.

Dr MARY SUMA CARDOSA,

President, MMA.

SUMMARY of fifth articles

Job demands long hours

This article is about the recent tragic death of a young doctor (The Star, April 12) has led to renewed discussions on the working conditions and training of housemen in Malaysia. In initial news reports, working long hours was implicated as a source of stress for the young doctor.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has been monitoring the system since its implementation, and has continually sought feedback from housemen as well as from medical officers (MOs) and specialists involved in houseman training. They had also called on the ministry to carry out a comprehensive review of the new system, not just in terms of the workload of the housemen but, more importantly, in terms of how it affects their training.

Besides that, the writer had list out the advantage and disadvantages of such a stressful working condition that facing by the housemen and doctor. The most obvious disadvantage is the reduction in houseman training time, resulting in inadequate exposure to patients, limited opportunities for observing and performing basic procedures and operations, and lack of continuity of care for patients.

Training and supervision of housemen is the responsibility of MOs and specialists in the respective departments, who are already overworked with patient care. With regard to training of housemen, the MMA feels strongly that decisions on these matters should be left to medical professionals, with no external interference from parents, politicians or others.

As conclusion, The MMA would also like to recognise the specialist and medical officers who have continued to train housemen despite being overworked themselves.

(255 words)

Synthesis

Human resources are the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector or an economy. "Human capital" is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view; i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization. Likewise, other terms sometimes used include "manpower", "talent", "labour" or simply "people". The professional discipline and business function that oversees an organization's human resources is called human resource management (HRM, or simply HR). Human resource management is the development and implementation of systems in an organization for attracting, developing and retaining a high-performing workforce. I had given an assignment to write a synthesis related to the concepts or theories learnt in class. I had chosen five articles with related to sick leave, minimum wages, retaining employees, and what are employees want from the employers.

From the first article that I get is questionable sick leave by Bhag Singh which published the article on The Star newspaper, in the article he state out the possibility of the employee abuse the sick leave that given by the doctor if the employees does not get the medication from the non-employer appointed doctor and the employers feel that the employees are tents to be getting more sick leaves. Sick leave is a tremendous economic burden in societies where employees receive sick leave benefits. Sick leave is associated with many factors. Psychosocial workload like increased job demands, low job control and low support will cause stress and the particular employees seems to be more tents to have diminished health and absence. Related factors like marital status and children at home are either controlled for (and associations are not made visible) or inconsistent results are found. In addition, having difficulties with combining the demands at work and in family life, possibly resulting in work-family conflict, is related to ill health and sick leave. For that, the Employment Act 1955 provides for a minimum sick leave for employees who come within its scope. Where the Employment Act 1955 applies, an employee is entitled to paid sick leave of 14, 18 and 22 days depending on whether the employee has worked for less than two years, between two years and less than five years, or five years and more. Where hospitalisation is involved, the entitlement is 60 days.

In my opinion, there are some special situation which when the employees obtaining medical leave when they are not completely disabled from performing their duties. For example of a situation where an employee's role is to receive calls and record incoming mails. However, the employee has a fractured wrist and the doctor says that it will take two months to remove the cast. The employee asks for medical leave for this period and the doctor obliges. But it could be a situation where the employee can walk about, go shopping and do most things that are normally done, except that the left arm or a part of it is immobilised. Is medical leave in such circumstances justified? I would say no. Therefore, we should develop a comprehensive sick leave policy to state out the condition of obtaining a sick leave and monitor the sick leave for all employees and we should apply the policy equally to everyone. For instance, we can't require doctor's notes from some and not from others. Next, we should also create a health and safety workplace for the employees. We should apply the well people add well managed equals to well organization. Well people, which promoting healthier lifestyles to ensure that individuals can perform to the best of their abilities by offering such organisational facilities such as counselling services, flexible work options, healthy eating facilities, etc. Well managed, where innovative and accessible styles of management prevail, This is a holistic approach, a way of management that implies a comprehensive review of existing people management practices and takes into account job design, management styles and working environment to improve the productivity of an organization by having a good job design, good management styles and good work environment contributes to well-being in terms of good ventilation, appropriate temperature, noise and light control, and good hygiene of air and water. A healthier workforce means employees are more motivated and productive, have higher attendance levels and return to work more quickly after episodes of ill health. However, the policies need to be realistic and considered in their approach, integrated into management systems, giving both employees and managers the willingness to buy into the idea and make it work.

Next, from the second article that I get is titled as "What is Minimum Wages?" by a frustrated HR practitioner from Kuala Lumpur grabbed from The Star newspaper on July 18, 2012. The writer wrote this article due to the Minimum Wages Order which the Human Resources Minister of Malaysia made by notification in the Gazette on July 16. A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are effecting in many jurisdictions, many difference of opinion exists about the benefits and drawbacks of to have a minimum wage.

There are still many employer would not like to implement it into wages system of their company in Malaysia. This is due to the implement of this policy might cause a huge effect to the company. For example, when this minimum wages act starts implemented, this will increase the operation cost for the company. For example, if an employer who have 100 employees and paid each of them RM 600 per month to operate the machines, but after the minimum wages act has implemented, he will have to increase wages for every employees RM 300. Therefore it will be additional RM 30000 for the employer. To save cost, the employers of course will reduce its manpower to at least half of it. So unemployment rate of Malaysia will increase. Besides that, it will also cause inflation to the country due to the demand of goods increases. This is because when the people got more to spent, there are more tents to spend more. Besides that, the minimum wages in Malaysia also does not state out clearly about commission of an employees got. Is that considering part of the wages? If yes it will cause a disaster to the salesman because a salesman normally got more commission compared to its basic paid. For example that given by the writer, let say if we hire a salesman and pay him a basic of RM500. In some months, when sales are good, he earns commissions in excess of RM400, and therefore his wages are more than RM900. In other months, when sales are bad, his commissions are below RM400 and thus his wages are below RM900. It follows then that for the months where sales are good, so as an employer have not flouted the said Order whereas in the other months, the employers in breach of the said Order. This brings much confusion to the employer, employee, etc. Therefore, a holistic and precise approach is compulsory to make to clearly constitutes what is "wages", for example clearly state the categories of wages, rate the minimum wage according to cost living index of a place, and most important, the government should have more effort to attract foreign investor to invest in our country to increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By that time, I am quite confident that every one of them regardless employer or employee will not disagree with this act.

The third article is titled "What do Employees Wants?" by Melissa Norman. What do a employees wants from employers actually? Are they are just expecting high salary from the employers only? Or having a short working hour? More paid leave? In fact, the employee wants all from the above from the employers. From the articles, there are few basic things wants by the employee which is Rewards and recognition, to have flexible working arrangements and work locations, career roadmap which is achievable, access to leaders of various levels and not just the immediate superior, clarity of work scope, outcomes and transparency in decision-making, allowing freedom to share views, and etc. To give rewards and recognition, there are two forms of that, which are non-monetary and monetary rewards. In terms of non-monetary rewards, the employers might post a thank-you note on the employee's or team member's office door, or the employers can greet employees and colleagues by name when you pass their desks or pass them in the hall and to have a personal letter of thanks to the employee or team member from the CEO/senior manager for a significant contribution, and so on. For monetary rewards, we can give them salary increases, bonus and profit sharing. When giving them the salary increases, several issues need to decide by the employers to keep motivating employees. If too low of salary increase, there will no motivation of value. If too high, the employer's costs will increase without any returns on the payment. However, it is important that employees perceive such a reward system as fair. To prevent jealously between employees, it is prefer to keep wages a secret. Such a policy can do more danger than good, the grapevine may distort the truth and discontent can increase. For bonus, it is a lump sum of money awarded for outstanding performance in any activity which the organization wants to encourage. Bonuses can be given on a group or individual basis. Normally, the companies pay contractual bonuses of one or more month's salary to all employees at the end of the year. Other employees want such as wants of purpose, goals, responsibilities, autonomy, flexibility, attention; opportunities for innovation, open-mindedness, transparency, and compensation are parallel with the Theory of Needs by a psychological theorist named David C. McClelland. In his acquired-needs theory, David McClelland proposed that an individual's specific needs are acquired over time and are shaped by one's life experiences. Most of these needs can be classed as achievement, affiliation, or power. A person's motivation and effectiveness in certain job functions are influenced by these three needs.

From the fourth article, is about how to retain a good worker. Employees are the assets of an organization and employer need them to produce the output. So, there is important to retain a good worker which can benefit the company by applying his or her knowledge, skills, attitude and working experience, but if the employers is unable to retain the good workers, then they will be many problems and costs occur such as cost of mistakes that caused by employees who cannot cope with the job, cost of lowered morale among the employee that need to take over his tasks, cost of recruiting and training replacement and etc. There are few steps to retain good worker so that they would not turnover to another company. The first step is attraction which is to draw the interest of individuals that have who have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO) suitable for the job as well as the organization, to apply for the job. As an example, hire the employee who meet certain requirements and that includes knowledge, skills and ability to handle the jobs. Not only this, correct image of organization also the important role to attract the right people. The second step is selection which the employers must have to choose which they think are the most compatible with the organization and the job. This is because when we selected the right people for the job, the employees will perform better and get the rewards, and thus they will feel satisfy because of the feeling of appreciated. Third is training which the employer provides the employees continuous opportunity growth and enabling them to keep up with the changes. And if we make them feel that they are important to the company, they will perform well and get satisfied. The fourth step is attrition, once the potential employee leaves the company a more "homogeneous" group stays which the employees share the same vision and mission, so organization should recognize the compatibility of employees and consider the side effects of homogeneity. The last one is the role of the Industrial and Organizational Psychologist is to help to develop strategies that build a better organization by applying psychological principles and methods. Organizations should be able to formulate strategies to attract and select the most compatible people and find the ways to retain the best worker.

The fifth article titled as "Job demands long hours" by the president of Malaysian Medical Association, Dr MARY SUMA CARDOSA. The article is about the recent tragic death of a young doctor (The Star, April 12) has led to renewed discussions on the working conditions and training of housemen in Malaysia. In initial news reports, working long hours was implicated as a source of stress for the young doctor.

Work-related stress is the natural reaction of people to being put under intense pressure at work over a period of time. Many people are motivated by the challenges and difficulties that normally occur with work demands and react by improving performance. Meeting those challenges and overcoming the difficulties causes feelings of relaxation and satisfaction. When the pressure of work demands becomes excessive and prolonged, however, people perceive a threat to their well-being or interests and then experience unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger or anxiety. There are many factors that cause to the stress at workplace such as problems with co-workers, management problems, personal issues, work environment, and etc. Therefore, it is related to safety and health issues in a company. To reduce it there are lots of effort need to done by the individual and organizations. Organizations can introduce variety of stress reduction programs, such as courses in yoga, to tackle stress. However, these programs may only go a certain distance in tackling stress because, although they may be useful for addressing the outcomes of stress, they do not address the causes. In other words, they are reactive rather than preventative. Besides that, we can also design stimulating jobs that provide workers with variety and allow them to use their creativity and skill. This may incorporate various forms of job rotation and job enrichment; and should reducing close management control and providing workers with greater autonomy over their own work, and involving them in decisions that affect their job. We should also consulting and communicating openly with workers at different levels on a regular basis; and making sure that workers have some prospect of career development and providing them with adequate training and etc.

As conclusion, there are many issues in human resources management and through this assignment we can know that it is not easy to own a good human resources management skill because human is the most complicated things in the world and therefore we should fully utilized the knowledge of human resources management to make an organization more better.

(2514 words)

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