Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Applications for Legal Protection for Events and Tourism Contracts Under COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act
01 Feb 2021 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye (Member of Parliament, Radin Mas SMC)
To ask the Minister for Law (a) how many individuals and companies who have signed contracts for activities such as wedding celebrations, conferences and holiday tours have applied for legal protection under the COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act; (b) what is the percentages of cases where negotiations failed and assessors had to be involved; and (c) whether there is any further recourse for individuals and companies who do not agree to the assessors’ assessments.
- Between 20 April 2020 and 20 January 2021: (a) 1,056 notifications for relief (“NFRs”) were served through the electronic system for event and tourism-related contracts. We do not track the number of hardcopy NFRs which parties may have served on the contracting parties. (b) 414 applications, excluding rejected or withdrawn applications, for an assessor’s determination were filed in relation to such contracts. Cases would be withdrawn if parties eventually managed to come to an agreement themselves. There were also some cases that were rejected as they were not within the scope of the framework.
- Based on the statistics outlined above, about 60% of the cases for which NFRs have been served were settled or resolved without the involvement of assessors.
- The Act seeks to provide just and fair outcomes through a simple and inexpensive mechanism, rather than abiding strictly with contractual terms. This is to ensure parties that are already impacted by COVID-19 do not stay embroiled in lengthy litigation over issues that arose materially because of the pandemic, through no fault of their own. In line with ensuring efficiency and finality, determinations are not appealable.
- However, a review may be conducted in limited situations. For example, an application for a subsequent determination may be made where: (a) one party did not have the opportunity to place all relevant information or evidence before the assessor; or (b) where an extension of time is required to make any payment.
Last updated on 01 Feb 2021