MISSING Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is just too high profile to warrant a careless attitude on the part of banks, insurers and employers with any link to its passengers and crew, all vanished as if into thin air. Despite all the noise made of a search area having been identified deep in the southern Indian Ocean, nothing definitive has been found to substantiate the claims of science. However, pretence that nothing is amiss is impossible. Dependents left behind in the lurch through no one's fault must go on. On the one hand, loans, rents, credit cards and other bills left behind have to be paid. On the other, employers are facing a conundrum whether salaries due to those on board who are in employment, all presumed dead, should go on being paid. What if the assumption is false and that science is mistaken?
The banks and insurers to whom instalment payments are due have taken a benign attitude, going on a case-by-case approach to help alleviate an already suffering group. Actually these institutions need not take a negative stance and continue to pursue payments as if nothing extraordinary happened. After all, barring the long odds of finding the plane intact, all 239 passengers and crew will be handsomely compensated, as all experts are predicting. Any real dilemma is faced by employers having to deal with an absent employee. Pretending that all is as usual will negatively affect a unit's performance. But yet, especially with regard to the crew, the law provides that until all the facts are laid bare they remain on duty. The same applies to those on the flight who were on company time, as are the 20 staff of Freescale. There are salaries due, a relatively simple matter. However, given the gap left behind what are employers to do: to fill or not to fill what are effectively vacancies after a month's absence?
There is much talk about death certificates and confirming the individual's presence on MH370 before action can be taken. And, unprecedented just about describes the whole situation, like institutions governed by regulations and procedures having to assume a humane facade. Indeed, a company is structured to transcend its owners as if it was organic, but its mechanics is driven by profit maximisation, which if not pursued relentlessly could spell its downfall. As such, those involved having decided to put the feelings of families left behind first are truly admirable. However, how long is this stance sustainable? What if nothing conclusive is forthcoming regarding the fate of MH370? In that event the law will intervene after the stipulated time and only then can everyone involved move on without guilt. New Straits Times