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Insubordination in employment law: the common law and shari’ah perspective

Ali Mohamed, Ashgar Ali and Ahmad, Muhamad Hassan (2022) Insubordination in employment law: the common law and shari’ah perspective. In: Shari’ah and Common Law: The Challenge of Harmonisation. De Gruyter Studies in Global Asia, 4 . De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany, pp. 77-90. ISBN 978-3-11-076668-4

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In the interest of maintaining industrial harmony and, further, the trust and confidence between the parties to the contract of employment, it is a fundamental obligation for an employee to obey the lawful and reasonable orders or instructions of his superior. In Laws v London Chronicle (Indicator Newspapers) Ltd [1959] 2 All ER 285, it was stated, inter alia, that any wilful disobedience of a lawful and reasonable order shows a disregard – a complete disregard – of a condition essential to the contract of service, namely the condition that the servant must obey the proper orders of the master, and that unless he does so the relationship is, so to speak, struck at fundamentally. Undoubtedly, any refusal or disobedience of an order or instruction of a superior will bring a chaotic situation to any organization in terms of discipline, performance as well as industrial peace. The superior order must be lawful and reasonable and not vice versa. It is obvious that an employee need not obey the instruction of his superior if the order is manifestly wrong or illegal, such as to falsify the account books or refuse to take an unworthy vehicle onto the road or not covered by third party insurance, among others. If the employee were to be dismissed merely for his refusal and/or failure to obey an illegal order of the superior, the dismissal would be deemed unlawful and thus, without just cause and excuse. It is noteworthy that an employee who defrauds the company, for example, by falsifying the accounts, the figures in the valuation reports, cash bill receipts, forging the signature of the chairman and treasurer, falsifying and manipulating documents, swiping the attendance card on behalf of his superior and divulging the company’s business information to a third party without getting authorisation from the company’s management are examples of acts of grievous nature and sufficient to warrant his dismissal if found guilty. The integrity of the employee in the above situation is seriously jeopardised as he had breached the very foundation of his employment contract. It would be difficult for any employer to repose trust and confidence in such an employee. Hence, this chapter explores the principle of insubordination in employment law from the common law and Shari’ah perspective with special emphasis on the employee’s duty to obey the employer’s lawful and reasonable order and instruction and the consequence of its failure therefrom.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Insubordination, Employment Law, Common Law, Shariah, Harmonisation
Subjects: BPK Islamic law. Shari'ah. Fiqh > BPK36 Islamic law (General)
K Law > K1701 Labor Law
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws > Department of Civil Law
Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws
Depositing User: Dr. Muhamad Hassan Ahmad
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2023 16:34
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 16:34
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/103907

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