Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up
your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia
Issue 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec 2019

New Labour Code

On 1 January 2021, the new Labour Code ("New Labour Code"), which was enacted by the National Assembly in November 2019, will come into effect. It will replace the existing Labour Code which was enacted in 2012.

The New Labour Code maintains an approach that favours the protection of employee rights. Unilateral termination rights for the employers under the New Labour Code remain unchanged, however employees will have the ability to terminate their labour contracts without notice in certain circumstances.

The key changes contained in the New Labour Code relate to the overhaul of the existing labour contract regime and the definition of a labour contract (and hence, labour relationship). The New Labour Code will not allow seasonal or specific job contract (permitting only the definite-term and indefinite-term contracts) and will extend the definition of a labour contract to any contracts that contain certain “labour-like” terms (e.g. tasks to be completed, compensation or salary and supervision from the payor).

Draft Amending Decree on Non-Cash Payments

On 6 November 2019, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) issued an updated draft decree to amend Decree 101/2012/ND-CP on non-cash payments ("Draft Decree"), which was opened to public comments.

A notable change introduced by the Draft Decree is the proposed 49% foreign ownership cap on companies engaging in payment intermediary services (PIS). Currently, most PIS companies are foreign-owned. Operations of these existing PIS companies are expected to be affected, as the Draft Decree does not include a full grandfather clause. The Draft Decree proposes to apply the foreign ownership cap to an existing PIS upon the earlier of the expiry of its PIS licence or a change in shareholders to the company.

Among other changes, the Draft Decree also proposes to regulate “mobile money” service under the Vietnamese law. This service comprises electronic money issued by a PIS provider providing telecommunications services by identifying clients through mobile subscriber databases.

Please note that whilst the information in this Update is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of writing, it is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.


Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers
Ho Chi Minh City Office
Saigon Centre, Level 13, Unit 2&3
65 Le Loi Boulevard, District 1
HCMC, Vietnam

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Lotte Center Hanoi - East Tower
Level 30, Unit 3003, 54 Lieu Giai Street., Ba Dinh Dist.,
Hanoi, Vietnam


Dr Chau Huy Quang
Managing Partner
D (84) 28 3821 2382
F (84) 28 3520 8206

Vu Thi Que
D (84) 28 3821 2382
F (84) 28 3520 8206

Lim Wee Hann
Executive Committee Member
D (84) 28 3821 2673

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