COVID-19 has brought upon challenges in all forms for everyone, and businesses in Malaysia have not been exempt from economic obstacles as the economy recovers from effects of the pandemic. As of November 2020, almost 100,000 Malaysians have lost their jobs since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented in March, according to the Human Resources Ministry.
Still, technology has undeniably played its part in helping everyone get through the pandemic (and subsequent restrictions), and AskAILA is the latest digital product that aims to help employers and employees in Malaysia. Shang & Co, a Malaysian law firm that specialises in employment law, says that this is “Malaysia’s first artificial legal assistant”.
The idea is to provide legal advice to employers and employees—at a fraction of the cost of legal advice that you’d get from a law firm in Malaysia. The firm says that legal information may not be easily accessible to those who are in employment disputes, and conventional legal advice is generally very costly (particularly during these times). Dato’ Fion, AskAILA Founder explains that AskAILA is a “preemptive solution” for those who are disputing employment issues:
“Letting an employee go is not an easy choice for any employer. Meanwhile, for employees, losing a job without a potential alternative is very daunting. Understanding the sensitivity of the situation, we created AskAILA as a preemptive solution for both parties to seek legal advice and guidance when discussing employment terms, be it termination or otherwise.
“Ultimately, our vision is to prevent unnecessarily time-consuming and costly employment disputes by ensuring that both employer and employee are armed with adequate legal knowledge and guidance.”
How does AskAILA work, and how much does it cost?
The AI-based application has been trained and equipped with Malaysian labour law and regulations, providing virtual assistance around the clock for HR-related matters. This assistance can come in the form of HR sample documents and checklists, which should help to reduce errors and non-compliance—which consequently should help to save on litigation costs and damages.
Additionally, a team of legal advisors and experts will standby to provide assistance at “any time of the day”. However, it’s worth noting that its main purpose is to provide “adequate assistance” in the form of legal advice—which does not mean that it replaces the role of an actual, human lawyer. AskAILA is already being used to supplement Shang & Co’s team of lawyers; the key word here being “supplement”.
“We are sure that AskAILA can provide employers and employees alikean ease of mind because we believe that when employers are being guided with proper adviceto reduce unnecessary legal disputes that may cause financial burden for all parties involved. Allin all, AskAILA aims to reduce procedural error committed by employers that may cost the company up to millions of Ringgit in compensation.”