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Learn more about Employee Warning Letter in Malaysia

An Employee Warning Letter is used to inform of poor behaviour or performance that does not meet the standards and expectations of the company. A director, manager or HR can issue a warning letter to an employee. Knowing how to write a warning letter can help you take appropriate disciplinary action and ensure its effectiveness. Here we explain everything you need to know about warning an employee before potentially resorting to a termination letter. This letter is easy to customize in word format and can be used for various employee misconduct.

Table of contents


What is an Employee Warning Letter?

A warning letter is a sort of business advice given to employees who have broken the rules before their job is terminated. This letter is designed to act as a warning and advice to employees, encouraging them to become more disciplined at work, even if they work from home. If the employee continues to repeat the same violation after receiving the third warning letter, the employer has the option to dismiss or lay off the employee. This letter is delivered when employees repeatedly make mistakes while failing to follow the company’s rules and regulations established under The Companies Act 1965. Because of the disorderly behavior of individuals who are no longer considered company employees, termination of employment is a last resort.

What is included in the Warning Letter?

The warning letter should include:

➤ Details of the performance or conduct issue of concern
➤ What has been discussed with the employee about the issue
➤ What the employer will do to assist
➤ An action plan outlining the steps the employee must take
➤ Areasonable timeframe within which the changes or improvements must be implemented

How to draft an Employee Warning Letter?

Step 1. Identify and consider the issue

Clearly identify the performance or behavior issue. Consider how serious the situation is, how long it has occurred, and what activities you will take to remedy it.

Step 2. Meet with the employee

Meeting with the employee is often critical for: detecting and resolving difficulties before they worsen, defining your expectations of the employee, and agreeing on strategies to improve the situation.

Step 3. Issue a letter of caution to the employee

Ensure that the employee receives the warning letter and document the facts of the letter’s distribution. It is critical that the employee reads and comprehends this letter. Please keep in mind that employees are not legally compelled to sign a copy of the letter.

Why use an Employee Warning Letter in Malaysia?

Employee warning letters are a formal component of the human resources department’s disciplinary process. When formally reprimanding employees, HR frequently use this communication strategy. They normally start by issuing a verbal warning to the employee. If there is no change in performance, a formal warning letter may be sent.

Disciplinary letters are vital since they allow the HR department to take control of the issue in order to improve the team member’s behavior. Because the letter is formal, the HR staff can refer to it if the employee is fired or if they repeat their troublesome behavior in the future. Furthermore, it enables the individual getting the reprimand to comprehend the gravity of the issue and adjust their behavior accordingly.

When do you use an Employee Warning Letter?

1. Misconduct

Misconduct is a broad phrase that refers to activities or behaviour that interfere with an employee’s duties to their employer. Not every misbehavior deserves dismissal; in the event of dismissal, the employer must demonstrate, among other things, that the misconduct committed was substantial enough to warrant dismissal. The list of what constitutes misbehavior is not complete, however it may include items such as:

➤ Willful disobedience or insubordination
➤ Dishonesty and deception
➤ Criminal offenses such as theft, violence, or bribery
➤ Working while intoxicated or under the influence of illicit substances
➤ Sleeping

2. Retrenchment

Employers have the right to restructure their businesses in order to maximize efficiency. In certain circumstances, this entails dismissed personnel who are deemed superfluous to the needs of the organization. When an employee is rendered redundant, it signifies that their position or role is no longer necessary. This might be attributed to a variety of factors, including:

➤ Closure of a certain department or section
➤ Significant decrease in turnover or profits
➤ Productivity decline

3. Inadequate performance

Poor performance indicates that the employee’s job or standard of work is subpar. Poor performance can be described in a variety of ways, including ineptitude, inefficiency, inaptitude, and even negligence.

Performance standards can vary depending on elements such as the employer’s personality, work needs, and the employee’s competence and knowledge. The law recognizes that the yardstick to be used to evaluate an employee’s performance is best left to the employer’s discretion and judgment, as long as it is backed by evidence and is not contaminated with malice. As a result, an employee’s performance may be measured using a variety of characteristics such as real performance, values, appropriateness, aptitude, conduct, behavior, and even mannerism.

What is the legislation in Malaysia regarding Warning Letters?

A common misconception is that three warning letters are necessary before an employee may be fired for bad performance. In Malaysia, there are no regulations governing what should be included in an employee reprimand letter. Some commonly recognized methods for developing such memos, however, include ensuring that the material is solid enough that the employee understands what they did wrong and how to remedy it.

What is the last written warning?

The number of warnings provided before dismissing an employee is determined by the severity of the underperformance, behavior, or misbehavior complained of, as well as whether or not any progress has been observed. If the circumstances are extreme enough, a final written warning may be sent to an employee as the first warning. Employers, on the other hand, may choose to send a last written warning to an employee rather than terminate them if they have demonstrated significant progress but still fall short of the acceptable performance benchmark. It is not advisable to issue repeated final warnings, but the case must be appraised based on the facts.

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