COVID-19 Updates for Singapore Employers: Cost Reduction, Mandatory Notifications, and Government Support from the Fortitude Budget

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Following the end of the circuit breaker period on 1 June 2020, Singapore is implementing a gradual resumption of business. During this period, employers are likely to continue to have concerns over cost-saving and business continuity measures and the government support available to them.

 

Since our previous article, there have been a number of updates and advisories from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) providing additional guidance to employers during the circuit breaker period and beyond. Shortly before the end of the circuit breaker period, the Singapore government had also presented the Fortitude Budget on 26 May 2020, which includes, among other things, additional support for employers.

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Reopening the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Employers Need to Know

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Singapore’s circuit breaker period came to an end on 2 June 2020 with the government introducing a three-phased approach for transitioning into a “new normal” and resuming economic activities safely.

With certain businesses reopening, the government is encouraging continued vigilance through a mix of statutory obligations as well as guidelines from the various government ministries. In terms of statutory obligations, the updated COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 includes specific obligations for employers, among others, to institute safe practices in the workplace. In terms of guidelines, the Ministry of Manpower has issued certain Safe Management Measures for general workplace settings and sector-specific guidelines for specific workplace settings.

This article aims to educate and provide guidance to employers operating post-circuit breaker on the requirements which may be relevant to them.

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COVID-19 Updates for Singapore Employers: Safe Distancing, Cost Reduction and Government Support

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This article was originally published on 3 April 2020 and last updated on 27 April.

As of 27 April 2020, Singapore has reported more than 13,000 cases and 12 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of new cases in the local communities have started to level off, many of the new cases are unlinked, pointing to a larger, as-yet undetected reservoir of cases in Singapore. As such, there is the continued need to be vigilant in enforcing social distancing and isolation measures.

Even as countries all over the world begin increasing such preventative health measures, the pandemic is also devastating the global economy, including Singapore. During times of economic downturn and uncertainty, controlling fixed costs such as labour becomes even more pressing for companies. Businesses in almost every sector have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are looking to cut costs during this period of crisis. While every business faces unique considerations, the following guidance aims to clarify issues relating to safe distancing practices at the workplace, cost-saving and business continuity measures, and the available government support during this health and economic crisis for Singaporean businesses.

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COVID-19 in Myanmar: Impact on Commercial Contracts and Employment

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English Version | Burmese Version | Chinese Version

The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on the global economy and markets. As the coronavirus sweeps around the world, emerging and frontier countries like Myanmar face more challenges.

Since March 2020, the Myanmar government has introduced several immigration measures to reduce the transmission, including temporary suspension of issuing all types of visas and compulsory quarantine requirement for all travelers entering Myanmar. The Myanmar government also subsequently imposed a movement restriction requesting all residents to stay at home during the Thingyan festival (Myanmar New Year), in conjunction with the immigration measures.

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COVID-19 Updates for Singapore Employers: Safe Distancing, Cost Reduction and Government Support

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As of 5 April 2020, Singapore has reported more than 1,300 cases and six deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Singapore is handling the COVID-19 pandemic better than most nations, the crisis continues to intensify at an increasing rate. As such, there is the continued need to be vigilant in enforcing social distancing and isolation measures.

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