24 April 2020
In our earlier article, we provided an overview of how to apply for General and Time-Limited Exemptions.
This basic framework remains, but there have since been some updates to the Gobusiness COVID website operated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/ (the “Website”).
In this article, we highlight some of the key changes you should be mindful of.
1. Extension of circuit-breaker period and exemptions until 01 June 2020
As you may know, the original circuit-breaker period which was scheduled to run from 07 April 2020 to 04 May (the “Original Control Period”), has been extended to 01 June 2020 (the “Extended Control Period”). Businesses that were exempted by MTI under the Original Control Period can continue to operate throughout the Extended Control Period.
2. Restructuring of Website
The Website has been restructured. On the main bar, you will now find links for:
You will notice that the link to Time-Limited Exemption applications is no longer in the main bar. Instead, it is now found below, in its own section.
There is also a new Status of Application section, allowing you to check the status of General Applications.
Clicking on the links to Manpower Submission Form, Time-Limited Exemption application, and Status of Application and logging in via CorpPass takes you to a single, shared portal where you can view the status of your application, apply for Time-Limited Exemptions, and submit manpower lists (the “Exemption Details Portal”).
3. You may be required to submit a list of manpower details
If your business has received an email notification to submit details of essential manpower (“Manpower Details”), you must do so within 2 days. This requires you to submit the NRIC/FIN numbers of all essential manpower working on-site (the “Essential Manpower”). You must include yourself if you are working on-site, even if you are a sole proprietor.
If you have not received this email notification, you do not need to submit Manpower Details, and can continue to operate based on the earlier approval that has been granted.
4. MTI is issuing a cap on manpower under General Exemptions
Previously, there was no express cap on Essential Manpower for businesses that obtained General Exemptions. However, MTI is now issuing caps on Essential Manpower, which are specific to each business. You must log in to the Exemption Details Portal to view this cap, as well as the number of remaining Essential Manpower that your business can deploy before hitting the cap.
5. You must keep your Manpower Details updated
Submission of Manpower Details involves simply typing or cutting-pasting the NRICs/FINs of the Essential Manpower into a text box in the Exemption Details Portal.
If there are any changes to your Essential Manpower roster, you must update the Manpower Details. You can update the Manpower Details up to a maximum of 3 times daily.
6. Understanding the Application for Additional Manpower
You should submit an Application for Additional Manpower if:
The Application for Additional Manpower requires the applicant to submit the additional manpower required, reason for additional manpower required, and an elaboration on the reason for the additional manpower.
As before, we expect that a successful application will require the applicant to show why the additional manpower is required for essential and urgent tasks which cannot be deferred or carried out from home, and that the additional manpower being requested is not excessive for those purposes.
7. Shifts / split-team / part-time arrangements
As mentioned above, point #15 of the FAQ on Registration of Essential Manpower (the "FAQ") seems to suggest that if your total Essential Manpower is higher than the manpower cap issued to you, you should submit an Application for Additional Manpower, and this would seem to be the case even if the size of each team does not exceed the manpower cap at any given time. Point #20 of the FAQ seems to reinforce this notion. Further clarification from MTI on this would be helpful.
Concurrently, when submitting Manpower Details in the Exemption Details Portal, you can indicate how many people from your Essential Manpower will be working shifts or part-time. (e.g. You may submit Manpower Details of 12 persons, but only 4 of them might be working on-site full-day and the remaining 8 of them may be on shift-work, so you would indicate that 8 persons are on shift work.)
We hope this update is helpful.
Stay safe, stay home, and feel free to contact us if you need any assistance. We will continue to be available via video-conferencing, teleconferencing, and email throughout this challenging period.
Associate Director, BR Law Corporation
* Screenshots from the https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/ website.
Post date. Edit this to change the date post was posted. Does not show up on published site. 24/4/2020
The materials in these articles have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. If you require legal advice for your particular circumstances, please consult a suitably qualified legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in these articles is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and we do not accept any liability for error or omission.
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