Monthly Drill – MECA Employers Consulting Agency Sdn Bhd

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Name: Victor Gan

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Company: MECA Employers Consulting Agency Sdn Bhd

Victor Gan is well recognised within the field of Industrial Relations and Employment Law in Malaysia. He is the Managing Director of MECA South and the Chief Operating Officer of MECA Employers Consulting Agency Sdn Bhd, a consulting firm representing over 500 employers across the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.

Victor holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania, Australia. He specialises in providing solutions to employers with regards to matters concerning the Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967 and Trade Unions Act 1959. His areas of expertise include but are not limited to legal advisory, terms and conditions of employment, dismissal and constructive dismissal issues, rightsizing and downsizing exercises, mergers and acquisitions, collective bargaining and labour disputes.

Victor is also a frequent speaker and trainer on matters concerning employment laws. He has been featured in national HR / IR conferences and has over the years provided consistent training programmes to the private sector in Malaysia.

Tell us about MECA.

At MECA, we emphasise on the delivery of an employer’s objectives through effective communication and engagement. While a company focuses on doing the right thing by their employees, our role at MECA is to blend a particular interpretation of the law into the objectives of the Company.

So, what is Industrial Relations? Help a layman understand this evolution of Human Resource.

Industrial relations is a function that looks into the relationship between the company and its employees. The law on industrial relations have also been created to ensure that both parties can work harmoniously. Of course, the law also provides recourse in the event either party does something to hurt the relationship of employment.

You have been exposed to an array of employment issues faced by employers. Could you sum up the common problems?

We’ve been dealing with employment issues faced by employers for 24 years now, and most of the time, employers position themselves to do the right thing for their company. The problem arises when an employee does not see it in the same light. This happens when the employee is considering things from his or her own perspective. It is my personal belief that if the purpose of an entire organisation is aligned, the people problems would be mitigated.

Legally, how does that stack up?

Our existing laws form a foundation to every employment relationship. It is important for us to understand that the law is not static and it is constantly evolving through the development of case laws. We hold a crucial relationship with employers to ensure that the combination of doing the right thing within permitted boundaries of the law is always achievable.

A large majority of employers are facing an uphill take of keeping their company afloat as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any advice you can offer to employers at large?

The first thing every employer must realise is the fact that you’re not alone in this battlefield. As leaders of an organisation, the Management team must determine what’s right to keep the business sustainable. Subject to existing provisions of the law, this may result in certain drastic decisions to be made, for example pay cuts, rightsizing exercises and etc. I would also encourage employees to be equipped with the right mind-set and to realise that the sun always shines after the rain. It is important for employers and employees to deal with internal matters transparently, reasonably and in a matured manner.

What are your plans for MECA in the near future?

We’ve not been spared by the pandemic too, and we’ve spent a big part of the MCO to remap our direction and destination. I’m very lucky to have a supportive Board of Directors and a strong internal team who strives on ideas and innovation. For our members, we have developed our own virtual engagement strategy and our team has been relentless in experimenting new ideas for the development of an enhanced experience via our consulting and training programmes. We are now ready to roll out a series of online programmes and also a virtual convention (very excited!).

On a personal note, how and why did you become a Consultant, and what’s the best part about your job?

Quite honestly, industrial relations and employment law was never part of my childhood ambition. I stumbled upon a job ad posted by MECA upon graduating from law school and thought I should try it out. The ‘trying it out’ lasted until today! I must admit that the earlier years of being a Consultant was challenging. The expectations were high and as a young graduate, I must admit that I had countless internal struggles. Nonetheless, I’m glad I persevered and the part that I enjoy most about my job is to be able to be a big part of witnessing and executing the growth of this Company.

What other interests do you have and how do you occupy your free time?

I travel a fair bit for work and I try to prioritise family time whenever I can. I’m always keen to sneak out for a round of golf too!