Businesses and individuals in Singapore, who are unable to perform their contractual obligations due on or after 1 February 2020 because of COVID-19, can now apply for temporary relief from legal action.

Under provisions in the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, the Ministry of Law has detailed two forms of temporary reliefs which commenced yesterday – First, is temporary relief for the inability to perform contracts, and second, is temporary relief for financially distressed individuals and businesses.

The period of relief will last six months, from 20 April 2020 to 19 April 2020 in the first instance, and may be extended to up to a year, the Ministry stated.

Details of the Act and its relevant obligations are summarised below:

Temporary relief for the inability to perform contracts

What are the contracts covered?

Types of contracts covered include commercial & industrial property leases; construction & supply contracts; event & tourism-related contracts; certain secured loan facilities; and hire-purchase & conditional sales agreements.

priya apr 2020 min law screengrab

Individual infographics which provide guidance on each type of contract – qualifications for relief, the prescribed period, and more – are in the gallery below, and can also be found here.

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Temporary relief for financially-distressed individuals and businesses

As part of the Act, measures relating to bankruptcy and insolvency also commenced yesterday (20 April), and will also last up to 19 October 2020.

With this, the monetary threshold for bankruptcy has been increased from S$15,000 to $60,000; while for corporate insolvency, it will be raised from S$10,000 to S$100,000.

Further, the time period to satisfy a statutory demand from creditors will also be increased from 21 days to six months.

Details on how to obtain relief can be found on the Ministry’s website.

The Ministry of Law has also provided a video summary of the Act, found below:


Lead image and video / Ministry of Law, Singapore’s YouTube channel

Infographics / Ministry of Law’s website