TERRY asked: I have a colleague who works overtime a lot to pay for her mother's medical bills. Our boss has since capped her overtime claims at 72 hours a month. What can she do?

IT MAY be tempting for you to call your boss a cantankerous curmudgeon, but he could be doing your colleague a great favour.

Ever heard of burnout syndrome? Keep this up and your colleague will soon be worn out.

Remember: exhaustion leads to low morale and disenchantment, which drags down work quality. That would, in the long run, jeopardise her climb up the crowded career ladder.

Besides, your boss has acted well within the law. The Employment Act states that an employee is permitted to work up to a limit of 72 hours of overtime in a month.

Take the experts' word for it.

Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of GMG Group, a recruitment firm, suggests that your colleague engage her firm to help her face the financial dilemma.

'She could check with HR (human resources) if the company is able to offer a financial loan at low or no interest to help with the medical expenses. She could also pay off her loan through salary deductions,' he says.

Often, employees are too quick to conclude that their bosses are more interested in saving their own skin in the food chain than caring about the daily concerns of employees.

Give it a shot. Talk to the boss.

Mr Goh suggests a review of her job scope to take on more responsibilities, in order to achieve a better salary.

Staff are always more committed when they know their bosses are clued in about their circumstances and willing to help.

It's a delicate one, employer-employee relations. But lest you forget, one can't do without the other to achieve common work goals.

Here's a famous quote to drive home that point: 'When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: Whose?'

 If you want a fresh take, write in to Senior Correspondent Anita Gabriel at anitag@sph.com.sg