Legal Updates

Legal Updates for Apr - 2020

Temporary Relief for Breach of Contract under the New COVID-19 Bill
The new COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill ("COVID Bill") will be introduced in Parliament next week and is anticipated to be passed into law shortly after. As the title suggests, the COVID Bill is intended to provide targeted and temporary relief for parties that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, find themselves unable to perform obligations under certain scheduled contracts – including contracts to which the government is a party. The COVID Bill will also temporarily increase the existing bankruptcy and insolvency thresholds for individuals and businesses respectively, as well as provide more time to respond to statutory demands from creditors. This Update provides a summary of these temporary reliefs under the COVID Bill.
03 Apr 2020 | Singapore

Laws Enforcing Telecommuting, Safe Distancing (and More) at Workplace Take Effect 2 April 2020
On 1 April 2020, the Infectious Diseases (Workplace Measures to Prevent Spread of COVID-19) Regulations 2020 ("Regulations") were issued to give legal force to prevention measures against the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace. The Regulations apply throughout the control period of 2 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, inclusive of both dates. Its rapid implementation indicates the gravity of the current situation and the government's determination to ensure compliance. The Regulations apply to employers, principals, and occupiers, and set out prevention measures against the spread of COVID-19 to be put in place at the workplace, including safe distancing and telecommuting.

[Note: Following the Singapore Government announcements on 3 April 2020, new enhanced safe distancing measures will take effect on 7 April 2020. This relates most importantly to the need to work from home. The measures have been significantly tightened, with the critical point that “reasonably practicable” has been removed. The measures critically result in the requirement to close all workplace premises and retail outlets except for certain specified essential services. Non-compliance will result in an offence. This Update must thus be read with reference to these new measures.]
03 Apr 2020 | Singapore

Keeping the Judicial Wheels Turning: Remote Proceedings in Singapore Courts amid COVID-19
The Ministry of Law has issued a press release announcing that it intends to introduce the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill ("Bill") in Parliament next week. The Bill includes proposed provisions allowing for the conduct of court proceedings using remote communication technology so as to avoid individuals having to physically appear in court. Rajah & Tann Singapore is well placed to manage remote court proceedings, having supported the pilot remote hearings before the Singapore courts and being fully equipped with remote communication technology. In this Update, we highlight the key aspects of the Bill as it relates to remote proceedings in court.
03 Apr 2020 | Singapore

AHP Covid-19 Dispatch

As countries around the world work to tackle the spread of Covid-19, the threat of business interruption has become real, throwing arrangements into disarray, disrupting workforce, and upsetting the global economy.

In Indonesia, the government has begun issuing various countermeasures and relief for businesses and public alike. In this update, we provide a summary of legislation and government updates issued to navigate the Covid-19 outbreak, specifically on the following areas:

  1. Banking and Finance
  2. Disputes Resolution
  3. Tax and Custom
02 Apr 2020 | Indonesia

Listed Issuers' Meetings to Comply with Safe Distancing Measures Amid COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 is greatly felt and measures are being introduced by the Singapore Government to try to minimise further spread of COVID-19. These include safe distancing measures that would render the holding of annual general meetings ("AGMs") or shareholder meetings difficult for issuers listed on the SGX-ST Mainboard and Catalist which have a large shareholder base.

Issuers are expected to comply with the prevailing safe distancing measures which, among other things, require the organiser of an AGM to ensure that not more than ten individuals are present at the event at any one time. On 31 March 2020, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly issued an updated guidance for issuers on the alternative arrangements that may be adopted to ensure that their AGMs are conducted in a manner that complies with the safe distancing measures. On 2 April 2020, the draft COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill which provides for temporary alternative arrangements for conducting meetings in a manner that complies with the Safe Distancing Measures was made available on the Ministry of Law website. This Update provides a summary of this development.
02 Apr 2020 | Singapore

COVID-19 AGM Pack
As COVID-19 ravages the globe, governments are upending the rules on nearly every aspect of our lives almost daily. These include various social distancing measures to contain the outbreak. Issuers listed on SGX-ST Mainboard and Catalist are facing unprecedented challenges in conducting annual general meetings ("AGMs") and meetings in a manner that complies with new legal requirements, guidance and advisories from various regulatory authorities.

We appreciate the difficulty in keeping track of the rapidly evolving regulatory changes to deal with the COVID-19 situation. Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is closely monitoring the situation and remains ready to assist.

We are pleased to bring you the COVID-19 AGM Pack that collates our Updates that share with you the latest legislative developments and advisories relating to the conduct of AGMs amid the COVID-19 outbreak. These include our latest Update titled “Listed Issuers' Meetings to Comply with Safe Distancing Measures Amid COVID-19” which discusses the draft COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill that provides for, among other things, temporary alternative arrangements for conducting meetings in a manner that complies with the prevailing safe distancing measures. The Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament next week and anticipated to be passed into law shortly after.
02 Apr 2020 | Singapore

AHP Covid-19 Dispatch

As countries around the world work to tackle the spread of Covid-19, the threat of business interruption has become real, throwing arrangements into disarray, disrupting workforce, and upsetting the global economy.

In Indonesia, the government has begun issuing various countermeasures and relief for businesses and public alike. AHP Covid-19 Dispatch provides a summary of legislation and government updates issued to navigate the Covid-19 outbreak.

01 Apr 2020 | Indonesia