Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up

your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia

Issue 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar 2021


Mobile Money Pilot under Decision 316/QD-TTg

On 9 March 2021, the Prime Minister issued Decision 316/QD-TTg to approve the "mobile money" pilot, which allows the use of telecommunications accounts to pay for small value goods and services. This pilot will last for two years.

The pilot will be implemented nationwide, with eligible piloting entities being those licensed to provide electronic wallet payment intermediary services, and licensed established public mobile territorial telecoms networks (or subsidiaries with authorisation from a qualified telecoms company). 

The "mobile money" transactions may be used for payment of goods and services in Vietnam, or transfer of funds between mobile money accounts. The maximum transaction limit of an account is VND 10 million per month for all transactions, including withdrawals, transfers, and payments.

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Decree 152/2020/ND-CP Regulating Foreign Employees Working in Vietnam and the Recruitment and Management of Vietnamese Employees Working for Foreign Employers in Vietnam

On 15 February 2021, Decree 152/2020/ND-CP ("Decree 152") regulating foreign employees working in Vietnam, as well as the recruitment and management of Vietnamese employees working for foreign employers in Vietnam, came into effect.

Decree 152 introduces and updates cases in which foreigners would be eligible for work permit exemptions. Particularly, exemptions are now available for foreigners who (i) are married to Vietnamese citizens and are living in Vietnam, or (ii) are probationers on Vietnamese ships. 

Furthermore, the existing work permit exemption that applies to foreigners who own companies in Vietnam has now been tightened to only apply to foreigners who have contributed a minimum of VND 3 billion in capital to the company. Therefore, under Decree 152, owners of small enterprises with a capital threshold of less than VND 3 billion would no longer be able to receive a work permit exemption.

In addition, under the new decree, foreign organisations and individuals are now allowed to directly recruit Vietnamese citizens by giving prior notice to the labour authority. This is not the case previously, where foreign organisations needed to engage a recruitment organisation to assist in the hiring of Vietnamese citizens.

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Decree 145/2020/ND-CP Guiding the Labour Code

On 1 February 2021, Decree 145/2020/ND-CP ("Decree 145"), which provides guidance on the implementation of the Labour Code 2019, came into effect. Compared to prior legislation, Decree 145 has introduced the following changes:

  1. The introduction of detailed provisions on sexual harassment at the workplace, including defining sexual harassment, setting forth recourse processes in the event of workplace harassment, and mandating regulation of sexual harassment in the employer's workplace policies.

  2. The revamp of the procedures for organising employee dialogue. Employers are required to facilitate workplace dialogue in certain matters that affect their interests (e.g., implementing policies on criteria for assessing employee performance, bonus regulations, and internal labour regulations). Furthermore, dialogues are not just confined to the workplace trade unions, but can (and in the absence of a trade union, would) include internal organisations established by the employees to represent their interests.

  3. The imposition of longer minimum notice periods for unilateral termination for certain occupations and business lines. For example, a minimum of 120 days' notice would be required for the unilateral termination of company managers if they are hired on indefinite or fixed term labour contracts.

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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 +65 62320606

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