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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Singapore employment act update

22 October 2015

The Singapore High Court decision in the recent case: Piattchanine, Iouri v Phosagro Asia Pte Ltd [2015] SGHC 259 held that close attention will be paid to the grounds for dismissal stated in the letter, such as whether the employment contract was terminated by reliance on a contractual right, or on the basis that the other party was in repudiatory breach.

Key points:

Employers should not issue dismissal letters hastily, as once contractual rights are crystallised by the terms of a dismissal letter, they cannot be retrospectively redefined by evidence that the employer could have terminated the employment contract in another way.

Ideally, a dismissal letter should be issued only after full internal investigation has been completed, as it will reduce the risk of additional grounds (not known at the time of termination) surfacing subsequently that would change the entire complexion of the dismissal letter (had they been known at the time of drafting).

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