Webinar Series by BAC Singapore: Lawyer in the House (Part 2)

BAC Singapore hosted its second webinar series on Friday, 1 May 2020. The session titled ‘COVID19 Rules Affecting Employment & Social Distancing’ was attended by over 20 participants.

Guests speakers for the day were Mr. Gokul Haridas, a senior legal practitioner in various areas of the law, including employment and criminal law and Mr. Kalidass M., Managing Director of Kalidass Law Corporation and seasoned criminal lawyer.

Both speakers highlighted areas on the financial support schemes provided by the Singapore Government for employers, etc. A helpful guide would be the information provided on https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/.

Basic rules on social distancing were also discussed – “In order to determine what is permissible in terms of social distancing, we need to look at the spirit of the Regulations i.e. to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This warrants safety precautions such as wearing face masks outdoors and generally staying at home as much as possible and avoiding close social contact with other individuals,” said Mr. Kalidass. “This is why going to the gym, or places with large crowds, etc are not encouraged”, he added.

During the Q&A session, both speakers took turns to answer some interesting questions from the participants. For example, “Are plumbers and locksmiths allowed to provide their services and visit homes during the lockdown period?” and “Can grandparents travel to take care of their grandchildren or can parents who are required to work in the essential services industry travel to leave their children with their grandparents as daycare centres are closed during this lockdown period?”.

In relation to the first question, Mr Gokul said, “Plumbers and locksmiths can visit homes and offer their usual services subject to an immediate urgency or in cases of emergency. Attending to renovations or other structural changes to houses are generally prohibited”.

In relation to the second question, Mr Kalidass was of the view that “since daycare centres are closed during the lockdown period, parents who are essential service workers can travel to leave their children at their grandparents’ home. A more feasible solution in the long-run would be for the grandparent or caretaker to move either to the child’s home under the supervision of a parent of the child when the other spouse goes to work, or make arrangements for the child to remain at their grandparents home, if both spouses are healthcare workers.”

Overall, the 1-hour online session via Zoom, shed some light on the interesting topic of social distancing and employment with a positive response from the audience!