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Employment Act – Who does it cover?

An Employment Contract is an agreement by which an employer agrees to employ another as his employee and the employee in turn agrees to serve his employer.

Generally, rights and obligations of employers and employees are governed by the Employment Act but the following persons are excluded from coverage under the Act:-

  • Persons who are PMEs i.e. in professional, managerial or executive positions earning a monthly salary of more than S$4,500.00;
  • Seafarers;
  • Domestic workers; and
  • Persons employed by a Statutory Board or the Government.
Employee / Employer Disputes

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Unlike a contract of service or an employment contract, a contract for service (i.e. independent contractor) does not create an employer-employee relationship. This person is usually self-employed and provides his services on an adhoc basis for a fee.

Examples of such contracts for service are a taxi or Uber driver, a free-lance IT consultant or an insurance agent. An independent contractor would not be entitled to the usual benefits accorded to an employee unless the contract for service provides for them.

If you have been involved in a dispute involving your employer or employee, contact us and we will help you.

Types of Company Disputes:

Shareholder Differences

Typically, there is a tussle for control over the business arising from a good relationship turning sour and shareholders refusing to co-operate with each other. In order to determine a shareholders’ exit rights in relation to a private company, a lawyer may have to investigate the exit clauses in the Shareholder’s Agreement.

Breach Of Duty As Director

There may be occasions where a director is not acting in the interests of the other shareholders or the company as a whole, or where there is a breach of fiduciary duties by the director.

A shareholder who is also a director may carry out acts that hamper access of another shareholder to the accounts, business operations or decision-making affairs of the company. Such actions may constitute breaches of director’s duties and could even be an offence in certain circumstances.

Deadlock & Business Standstill

Parties may be deadlocked and the business may run into a stalled position where disputing parties own an equal number of shares and have equal voting power and neither party is prepared to compromise.

The investor wishes at the very least for recovery of the amount that he has invested, but sometimes the business has suffered a considerable loss and there is a need to then consider how best the investor may exit the situation with minimal loss.

Options For Resolving A Shareholders’ Dispute

The various options include offering to buy out a party, appointing an auditor to look through the accounts and to do up a valuation of the shares of the Company, voluntary liquidation and the appointment of a liquidator, attending a mediation session to explore ways of settlement, and in the last resort, the winding up of the Company.

Hoh Law Corporation may help you:
  • Assess the facts and identify the issues
  • Advise you on what steps to take to protect your interests
  • Appoint accounting professionals to analyse all financial records
  • Advise you on the best form of dispute resolution to take
  • Prepare you for potential litigation /arbitration / mediation, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Common Commercial Contracts

Commercial Agreements cover a wide range and include:

  • Agency Agreements
  • Agreements for Sale of Business or Business Assets
  • Agreements For Supply Of Goods/Services
  • Distributorships or Dealer Agreements
  • E-commerce Contracts
  • Employment Agreements
  • Equipment Hire or Leasing Agreements
  • Franchise or Licence Agreements
  • Joint Venture Agreements
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Shareholders Agreements
  • Standard Trading Terms and Conditions
Other Contractual Disputes

What Is A Breach Of Contract?

A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. Each party to a contract makes a promise to another (or others) to perform certain acts, such as to supply certain goods or services or to pay a fee in exchange. If one party fails to perform the contract as promised while the other party has fulfilled all his own duties under the contract, the innocent party is entitled to a legal claim.

Our firm can assist you to enforce your rights under the agreement and have your dispute resolved or determined by the Court.

What Relief Can I Get?

You may be entitled to a rescission of the contract i.e. to treat the contract as if it had not existed and to be put back to the position before the contract was made. Alternatively, specific performance may be ordered i.e. an order to compel the defaulting party to carry out his part of the contract. If you wish to prevent the defaulting party from carrying out some act to your detriment, an injunction may also be applied for in Court. Lastly, damages or an account of profits wrongfully earned may also be pleaded for in your case in Court.

What is my Time Limit for Filing a Breach of Contract Lawsuit?

Under the Limitation Act, a lawsuit must be filed within 6 years after the breach of contract occurred, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A party seeking a remedy for a breach of contract must file a lawsuit within the time limit or his application will be struck out.

How to avoid contractual disputes?

Prevention is better than cure. The first rule is to always make sure you have a properly written contractual agreement before signing it. This is best done by appointing a solicitor to create a sound contract for parties, or to vet your contract if it has already been prepared by the other party.

The legal costs you spend to have an agreement drawn up by a solicitor will pay off in the long run, and could potentially save you time and money of having to go to Court in case of any ambiguous terms in the contract.

A trained contract law lawyer will be able to identify the potential risks and foresee unlikely scenarios so that it can be addressed in the contract. Disputes can also be avoided if the rights, responsibilities and entitlements of each party are spelt out clearly.

Hoh Law Corporation is experienced in handling a wide variety of contractual disputes and negotiations. Contact us and we will help you to resolve any issues, whichever type of contract your case entails.

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