The Code contains noteworthy new provisions such as those allowing employees to unilaterally terminate labor contracts at any time without reason and forcing employers to pay account opening fee if paying salaries to employees via bank accounts.
Under the Code, the daily overtime of an employee must not exceed half of his normal working time. Particularly for enterprises applying a weekly working time frame, the aggregate of overtime and normal working time must not exceed 12 hours per day with the total overtime not exceeding 40 hours per month and 200 hours per year. Enterprises may only arrange overtime working if employees so agree.
From this year onward, employees will have one more day off work on the occasion of the Independence Day, which will fall on either September 1 or September 3.
The new Investment Law removes dozens of sectors and trades from the list of those subject to conditional business investment, e.g., services provided by commercial arbitration organizations, commercial franchise, logistics services, ocean shipping agencies, real estate brokerage training services, assisted reproductive services, vaccination services, and plastic surgery services, thus reducing the number of sectors and trades subject to conditional business investment to 227. Meanwhile, the provision of debt collection services is added to the list of sectors and trades banned from business investment.
The Law also adds some new sectors and trades to the list of those eligible for investment incentives, including higher education; manufacture of products formed from scientific research and technological development outcomes; manufacture of supporting industry products prioritized for development; drug storage and manufacture of medical equipment and devices; production of goods and provision of services that create or are involved in value chains or industrial clusters.
Compared to its previous versions, the new Law lessens market access conditions, reduces procedures and grants more rights to enterprises.
Particularly, the Law contains several provisions aiming to better protect minority shareholders in joint-stock companies. For example, shareholders or a group of shareholders holding 5 percent or more, instead of 10 percent under previous regulations, of shares of a company will have the right to request the convening of a General Meeting of Shareholders in certain cases or to request the Supervisory Board to investigate certain matters relating to the operation of the company. Shareholders or a group of shareholders holding 10 percent of voting rights or more can nominate candidates for the Board of Directors or the Supervisory Board. In addition, the Law removes the requirement compelling a shareholder to hold the shares for at least six consecutive months in order to exercise such rights.
Law on Investment in the Form of Public-Private Partnership
The Law, published in English on the Official Gazette, issues 85-90 of 2020, points out five sectors opened for investment in the form of public private partnership (PPP), including transportation; power grids and plants; hydraulic work, clean water supply, water drainage and waste; healthcare; education and training; and information technology infrastructure.
The selection of investors may be conducted through open bidding; competitive negotiation; direct appointment of investors; and selection of investors in special cases.
Noteworthily, from August 15 this year, investment projects in the form of operation-transfer which have not yet obtained approval of investment policy will be halted.
The Law provides seven measures for ensuring safety and security in the securities market, including coping with and remedying incidents, events and changes affecting the safety, stability and integrity of the securities market; freezing securities accounts or requesting competent persons to freeze money accounts involved in violations of the securities law, among others.
One of the most new salient provisions of the Law is the requirement imposed on public companies. Accordingly, a public company must have a minimum charter capital of VND 30 billion, a considerable increase from the level of VND 10 billion under previous regulations, with at least 100 shareholders, excluding major shareholders, holding at least 10 percent of shares.
Law on Mediation and Dialogue at Court
The Law, which is designed to build a new mechanism for settlement of civil disputes and administrative lawsuits, sets forth nine principles of mediation and dialogue at court, of which the most three important ones are voluntariness, confidentiality of information, and flexibility.
The process of mediation and dialogue for settlement of a civil case or matter or an administrative lawsuit will last no more than 20 days, or 30 days for complex cases. The parties may agree to extend the time limit for mediation or dialogue for up to two months.
According to the Law, which is published in English on the Official Gazette, issues 73-75 of 2020, youth constitute a great and creative social force taking the lead in the cause of renewal and national construction and defense. They play an important role in the cause of national industrialization and modernization, international integration and socialism construction. They have the rights and obligations of citizens as defined by the Constitution and law.
The Law devotes one chapter to stipulating youth’s responsibilities toward the Fatherland, the State, the society, their families, and themselves so as to create a favorable legal corridor for young people to fulfill their responsibilities.
Law Revising a Number of Articles of the Law on Judicial Assessment
Worthy of note, the Law extends the scope of judicial assessment along the direction of conducting judicial assessment under solicitation right from the stage of initiation of criminal cases, instead of investigation as under previous regulations.
Another remarkable content of the Law is the provision lessening the condition for opening a judicial assessment office. Accordingly, the applicant must have worked as a judicial expert assessor for at least full three years and have carried out expert assessment activities in the field in which he wishes to establish a judicial assessment office. Under the 2012 Law on Judicial Assessment, an applicant must have at least five years’ working in the field in which he applies for a judicial assessment office establishment license.
Law Amending the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents
Under the Law, published in English on the Official Gazette, issues 76-78 of 2020, there are three more cases in which legal documents will be formulated and promulgated according to fast-track procedures. Specifically, the fast-track procedures will be applied when it is necessary to immediately issue a legal document to implement a treaty which Vietnam has acceded to; to partially or wholly annul another legal document which was issued in contravention of law or is no longer suitable to reality; or to extend the validity of another legal document for a certain period of time to deal with urgent problems.
Law Revising the Law on Organization of the National Assembly
According to the Law, from the 14th Legislature onward, the number of full-time National Assembly deputies must account for at least 40 percent of National Assembly deputies. The Law, available in English on the Official Gazette, issues 85-90 of 2020, also raises criteria on National Assembly deputies, requiring them to have a good command of socio-economic affairs, debating skills, critical thinking and self-expression skills.
Law Amending a Number of Articles of the Construction Law
Under the Law, there are nine types of construction works that are exempt from construction permit, including construction works of industrial park, export-processing zone and hi-tech park projects with their detailed 1:500-scale plans already approved by competent authorities and construction designs appraised and under-seven-story detached houses under urban or housing development projects.
The Law establishes a principle that construction projects with different funding sources must be managed by different methods. For example, regional or specialized project management units must be set up for state-funded projects. Meanwhile, for projects using non-state funds or projects with peculiar characteristics, their owners may outsource project management work to professional project management service providers.