Firms in construction sector get another 3 months of relief for contracts hit by Covid-19

Labour costs have increased due to restrictions in the inflow of migrant workers. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Firms in the construction sector will get a further three months of relief from legal and enforcement action for building and supply contracts, the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on Wednesday (Sept 29).

The relief period for construction contracts, supply contracts or any performance bonds was previously due to end on Thursday.

This extension of relief to Dec 31, 2021, comes as challenges persist for firms in the construction sector.

Labour costs have increased due to restrictions in the inflow of migrant workers and projects are facing delays due to the manpower shortage, the ministry noted.

"In this regard, we will extend the temporary legislative relief related to the built environment sector to help firms tide over this period," it said.

The relief measures, provided for under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, were introduced to ensure that no single segment of firms in the industry bears a disproportionate share of the burden due to Covid-19.

The Government has provided financial assistance through a $1.36 billion construction support package, manpower support and legislative relief through the Act.

The built environment sector covers firms in the construction, real estate, environment services and security segments, which have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

With the extension of the relief period, construction firms can seek temporary reprieve from legal and enforcement action for building or supply contracts, or any performance bond, by serving a notification for relief by Dec 31, 2021.

During this period, parties are encouraged to negotiate and resolve their differences in an amicable and mutually beneficial manner, MND said.

The period for cost-sharing relief, which applies to non-manpower qualifying costs which arise due to Covid-19 delays, has also been extended to the end of the year.

Further details on the processes covered by the Act can be found at The Ministry of Law website and and Building and Construction Authority website.

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