27 February 2020

Businesses and employers may be impacted in their commercial dealings and management of employees as the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) are felt in Singapore. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the Ministry of Health of Singapore has moved its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange, meaning the disease is severe and spreads easily, but is still contained.

The following two articles address contractual and employment issues arising in the context of the COVID-19 situation:

  • Disruption to contracts: Due to the stoppage of some production lines and decreased demand in the retail industry, businesses may be experiencing difficulty in fulfilling commercial and other contracts. Possible shortage of labour and goods and materials may also affect a contractor’s ability to complete projects on time. Affected businesses and contractors could face potential liabilities for breach of contract and may need to consider relying on force majeure clauses or the doctrine of frustration for relief. Further, some employers may be concerned about the possible implications of travel bans and quarantine orders on employment contracts with affected employees. To read more, please click here.
  • Employers’ obligations: The Singapore Government has been proactive in issuing advisories to safeguard the health of the Singapore public. For example, certain governmental agencies have issued advisories on precautions and reactive measures to be implemented at workplaces, while emphasising that businesses should maintain normalcy. Employers may wish to take stock of their obligations towards the health and safety of their employees. To read more, please click here.


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