COVID-19 INSIGHTS HUB

24 Jul 2020

A collection of updates to help you navigate issues arising from the global pandemic.

The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted businesses, governments and institutions across borders and industries. As governments tighten measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, companies confront a challenging and uncertain future.
 
You are rightly focused on keeping your colleagues, customers and contacts safe, ensuring business continuity, and responding to regulatory changes.
 
The knowledge collected on this Insights webpage may help you understand the key issues for your business in order to chart your way forward. 
 
We stand ready to support you in any area of the law. You may wish to contact your usual Drew & Napier lawyer or email our COVID-19 Response Team at covid19responseteam@drewnapier.com.
 
We hope that by bringing together our experts in this way and sharing our knowledge, we can help you navigate this difficult time.

 

Resources

COVID-19 Article
24 July 2020
 
CCCS provides guidance on its approach to collaborations between competitors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
We are pleased to enclose our Legal Update on the guidance note by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) issued on 20 July 2020, setting out the CCCS’s approach to collaborations between competitors in relation to the supply of essential goods or services in Singapore (COVID-19 Guidance Note).
COVID-19 Webinar
9 June 2020
 
Picking up the pieces – How to survive & thrive in the Covid-19 aftermath (Video Clip)
 
COVID-19 Webinar
4 June 2020
 
Make lemonade out of lemons: Looking at legal claims as opportunities in a Covid-19 world (Video Clip)
 
COVID-19 Article
2 June 2020
 
Ending employment during COVID-19: A new normal?
In these uncertain times, companies may be faced with the difficult decision of letting go of some of their workers to manage costs. This legal update discusses the different ways the employee-employer relationship can be ended, as well as recent pronouncements by the Ministry of Manpower on the issue of retrenchment and managing manpower issues and their interaction with employment law in Singapore.
COVID-19 Article
24 April 2020
Liquidated damages in the era of the COVID-19 Act: Time out only…
The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 puts in place a temporary moratorium over enforcement of contractual rights. What does this time-out mean for contracting parties faced with a potential claim for liquidated damages, and how can businesses make the most of this reprieve?
COVID-19 Article
20 April 2020
Cash Flow Support for Individuals and SMEs – Help from the MAS during the COVID-19 pandemic
On 31 March 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, together with the Association of Banks in Singapore, the Life Insurance Association, the General Insurance Association, and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore announced a package of financial measures to help individuals and small medium enterprises manage their cash flows and meet their financial obligations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article aims to discuss the measures introduced.
COVID-19 Article
17 April 2020
 
Alternative arrangements for meetings during COVID-19​
On 13 April 2020, alternative meeting arrangements were prescribed for meetings where personal attendance is provided for in written law or certain legal instruments. On the same day, the MAS, ACRA and SGX Regco have also issued a checklist to guide listed and non-listed entities on the conduct of general meetings during the period when elevated sage distancing measures are in place. This legal update examines the alternative meeting arrangements applicable to companies with a focus on listed issuers.
COVID-19 Article
9 April 2020
 
Singapore COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020
On 7 April 2020, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 (the COVID-19 Act) was passed by the Singapore Parliament. We set out the policy considerations underpinning the COVID-19 Act, as well as further details on the operation of the COVID-19 Act. We also discuss how businesses may determine whether they meet the criteria for temporary relief.
COVID-19 Article
7 April 2020
Understanding the Circuit Breaker
On 3 April 2020, the Singapore government announced significantly stricter measures in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore. Referred to as a “circuit breaker”, the measures will affect a host of businesses and employees.
COVID-19 Article
7 April 2020
Retaining employees and managing manpower due to COVID-19 in Singapore
On 30 March 2020, the National Wages Council issued its 2020/2021 Guidelines calling on employers to sustain businesses and save jobs. This update sets out the Government support, as at 6 April 2020, to help employers retain their local employees, and the measures that employers can consider to manage excess manpower due to the COVID-19 situation.
COVID-19 Article
6 April 2020
COVID-19 Global Pandemic – Measures to aid with credit for businesses and SMEs
This update highlights the key financing schemes, which are administered by Enterprise Singapore and the recent enhancements arising from the Covid-19 situation which businesses and/or small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) can leverage on, as well as some other measures recently announced by the Government to address the cash flow and credit concerns of SMEs to help sustain their businesses in this uncertain climate.
COVID-19 Article
3 April 2020
Legal Obligations and COVID-19 – Temporary Relief and Measures
To complement the financial measures announced by the Government in the Resilience Budget, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill (“Bill”) is intended to be introduced at the next sitting of Parliament. This update serves to highlight and elaborate on the temporary measures provided by the new Bill concerning COVID-19.
COVID-19 Article
3 April 2020
The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill and its impact on the construction industry in Singapore
A new Bill seeking to “stanch the flow of blood” and offer temporary relief to firms, businesses and individuals who are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations because of COVID-19, will be introduced in Parliament next week. Directors Christopher Chong and Kelvin Teo set out some preliminary thoughts on the Bill and on matters that Employers and Contractors may wish to consider.
COVID-19 Article
2 April 2020
Update on the holding of meetings 
This article highlights key guidelines from various government authorities to help entities understand the measures they should take when conducting meetings to stay safe and comply with government regulations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Article
1 April 2020
New bill to be passed in Parliament next week expected to give relief in light of COVID-19 
A new Bill targeted to provide companies and individuals temporary relief from their contractual obligations in light of COVID-19 will be introduced in Parliament next week. This update discusses what we can expect from the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill.
COVID-19 Article
27 March 2020
Govt steps in to provide relief from contractual obligations in light of COVID-19
This update highlights the Government’s intervention in what are essentially private agreements between individuals and entities, and suggests that there may be difficulties for a party in attempting to rely on force majeure clauses or the doctrine of frustration in trying to suspend contractual obligations or discharge the contract in its entirety.
COVID-19 Webinar
25 March 2020
After the deal  Post M&A disputes and how to avoid them (Video Clip)
COVID-19 Article
4 March 2020
Extension of time for issuers with a 31 December financial year-end to hold annual general meetings
The Singapore Exchange Regulation has announced that it will grant a time extension of up till 30 June 2020 (“Waiver”) for issuers, which fulfill certain criteria to hold their annual general meetings to approve their 31 December 2019 financial results. This legal update sets out, inter alia, the eligibility criteria and the application process for the grant of a Waiver.
COVID-19 Article
3 March 2020
COVID-19 – Frustration, force majeure or simply frustrating?
Repercussions from the COVID-19 situation on the commercial sector have been felt from the rising caution exercised by governments and the public at large. Businesses are looking to their contracts and agreements to find ways to escape liability for non-performance. This update provides some insights into the question - is COVID-19 a ‘force majeure’ event, a frustrating event, or simply frustrating?
COVID-19 Webinar
21 February 2020
Overview of the Infectious Diseases Act – Government Powers and Individual Obligations (Video Clip)
 
COVID-19 Webinar
21 February 2020
Hoaxes and Baseless Rumours (POFMA) – examining potential criminal and civil liabilities and reliefs relating to the spread of fake news and false rumours (Video Clip)
COVID-19 Webinar
21 February 2020
Employer's Obligations (Video Clip)
COVID-19 Webinar
21 February 2020
Occupier's Liability - examining the role and obligations of building owners, landlords, tenants etc. (Video Clip)
COVID-19 Webinar
21 February 2020
Understanding your contractual rights & obligations (Video Clip)
COVID-19 Article
13 February 2020
2019-nCoV (COVID-19) – FAQ on hot topics under PDPA and Employment Laws
As a result of additional control measures towards the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, we have received some queries as to how data protection and employment laws apply in relation to the collection of personal data from visitors and employees. To address some of the more common issues, we have prepared a set of FAQs to clarify how the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and employment law may be applicable.
COVID-19 Article
13 February 2020
Extension of Time for Certain Issuers to Hold Annual General Meetings to Approve 31 December 2019 Financial Results in Light of COVID-19
The Singapore Exchange Regulation has announced that it will grant a time extension of up till 30 June 2020 (“Waiver”) for issuers which fulfill certain criteria to hold their annual general meetings to approve their 31 December 2019 financial results. This legal update sets out, inter alia, the eligibility criteria and the application process for the grant of a Waiver.


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