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Esther Pang

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Esther Pang is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's Singapore office.

In our earlier article Making it Mandatory to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19: A Framework for Employers1 (“Article”), we considered the issue of whether employers can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 based on the existing legal framework at the time. Since then, the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation released an advisory on 2 July 2021 to clarify the Singapore government’s policy on this issue and to provide guidance to employers regarding COVID-19 vaccination in the employment context (“Advisory”).

In a recent Singapore Court of Appeal (“CA”) decision in I-Admin (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hong Ying Ting and others [2020] SGCA 32 (“I-Admin”), the CA laid out a modified approach for claims relating to breach of confidence, departing from the long standing approach in Singapore, to better take into account the risks suffered by owners of losing confidential information in today’s increasingly digitized society.

Traditionally, the plaintiff is required to show that the defendant used the confidential information without authorization and to the detriment of the plaintiff in a claim of breach of confidence. However, the CA in I-Admin found that if the information is confidential in nature and has been imparted to the defendant in circumstances importing the obligation of confidence then an action for breach of confidence is presumed and the defendant will have the burden of proof to displace this presumption.

In a recent Singapore Court of Appeal (“CA”) decision in I-Admin (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hong Ying Ting and others [2020] SGCA 32 (“I-Admin”), the CA laid out a modified approach for claims relating to breach of confidence, departing from the long standing approach in Singapore, to better take into account the risks suffered by owners of losing confidential information in today’s increasingly digitized society.