Positive Change in Response to Covid-19

13 April 2020

Positive Change in Response to Covid-19

Companies and businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in adapting to work amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. Remote work and communication has rapidly developed into the norm and forced businesses to consider their crisis response and modify their operations.

During this constant and challenging period of change, there are a number of things that all companies and businesses, no matter the industry, location or size, can do to support a positive response to the current global situation and safeguard their future.

  • Understanding your obligations at law

More now than ever before it is important that employers understand their legal obligations to their employees, including freelance contractors and frontline workers.

In the event that an employment contract does not address what happens to employees’ entitlements in the event of a suspension of operations or downturn in trade, it is important that you act swiftly to reach agreement between you and your employees to ensure that you are not in breach of your obligations under Lao labour law.

In the event that your company or business is continuing to operate, either remotely or onsite, it is important that you protect the health and safety of your employees. In Laos, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and other relevant government authorities have issued, and continue to issue, guidelines that employers must follow in response to the Covid-19 pandemic or risk penalties.

MPA Lawyers can assist in ensuring you are meeting your employment law obligations and support you and your employees during this uncertain period.

  • Risk mitigation

Understanding contractual obligations, termination clauses and relief measures that may effect your company or business at this time will ensure that you can position your company or business to mitigate any risk or exposure that may arise and support a positive response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

In the event that you need to enter into or terminate an existing contract, it is important to consider whether the contract contains a force majeure or pandemic clause and the scope and operation of such clause.

Companies that are making decisions abruptly in response to the developing situation, need to be aware of their obligations to shareholders and ensure that they are acting in accordance with their obligations at law to avoid any unforeseen consequences in the future. For example, if a company’s corporate documents only provide for votes to be made in person or do not provide for the Director’s powers in the event of an emergency situation, such as a pandemic, it is important that the necessary steps are taken to protect the company’s interests.

Our team is experienced at facilitating remote solutions and support to our clients within the Lao PDR and across the globe. Reach out to us today should you require assistance in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and safeguarding your interests for the future at

Revision to the Law on Water and Water Resources

[:en]On 11 May 2017 the Draft Amended Law on Water Resources was adopted by the National Assembly and is currently under committee review.[:]

Arbitration in Lao PDR

[:en]Arion Legal recently contributed to the exclusive chapter on arbitration in Lao PDR in Respondek & Fan’s biennial Asia Arbitration Guide (AAG). The AAG is a free publication which covers a review of 21 jurisdictions across Asia on arbitration law, practice and institutions and is a quintessential guide for all cross-border investors seeking to understand alternative dispute resolution in the region.

Internal Regulations for Workplaces in Lao PDR

[:en]The Labour Law (2013) came into effect on 28 October 2014, repealing and replacing the previous Labour Law (2006) and introducing a number of significant changes relating to the basic rules of employment in Lao PDR. As the Labour Law is now well into its third year in force, we consider one of its more significant yet often overlooked legal requirements for employers in Lao PDR – internal regulations or “work rules” of the workplace for employees. [:]

PM Reveals Measures to Bolster Economic Growth

[:en]PM Thongloun Sisoulith told the NA that the government will employ a number of measures to spur economic growth amid the current economic and financial constraints. The government pledged to ensure a stable and steady macro economy through the harmonised implementation of financial and currency policies and measures to ensure annual economic growth of at least 7 percent. The PM committed to closely follow up the implementation of tax and customs policies and regulations as well as amending them appropriately in order to promote investment and business operations.[:]

Govt Seeks to Increase Bank Deposits to 84 Percent of GDP

[:en]The government has announced its intention to increase deposits in commercial banks to 84 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, up from the 57 percent expected in 2016, in a bid to meet growing development needs. Additionally, every effort will be exerted to increase the total credit in commercial banks to 74 percent of GDP by the end of 2020, an increase on the 50 percent expected by the end of 2016.[:]

CLMV leaders push border trade in local currencies

[:en]Business leaders in Thailand and the CLMV countries are urging their governments to use local currencies for trading along borders instead of the US dollar to facilitate business and cut costs. Businesses from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar will propose the plan to their governments today at the seventh Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (Acmecs) summit in Vietnam.[:]

PM Announces Continued Suspension of Mining Concessions

[:en]Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said yesterday the government will maintain the moratorium on new mining concessions because it needs more time to inspect a number of operations. The prime minister was speaking at a three-day conference taking place at the National Convention Centre for mining sector officials from around the country and private investors in the industry.[:]

VAT Collection (On Imports) To Start Next Month

[:en]The Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance will begin collecting Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments next month with the department readying equipment and human resources. “At the beginning we will be collecting VAT at the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nong Khai Province and Vientiane followed by the other international border crossings,” Acting Director-General of the Customs Department, Mr. Bounpaseuth Sikounlabout told local media during a press conference on Friday.[:]

Banks managing foreign currencies to maintain liquidity

[:en]Banks in Laos have implemented stricter controls on foreign currencies notably the Thai baht and US dollar in a move to stabilise exchange rates and sustain the country’s economy. Speaking to Vientiane Times on Wednesday, bankers attributed the move to falling foreign currency reserves because businesses constantly required Thai baht and US dollars to import goods.[:]



Click one of our representatives below to chat on WhatsApp or send us an email to

× How can we help you?