The employment of foreign workers in the context of an outbreak due to Corona virus

The employment of foreign workers in the context of an outbreak due to Corona virus

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan city, China and has spread to many countries around the world such as Korea, Japan, Singapore, USA, Italy, France, Iran etc. Until February 28th, 2020, the number of people who have been being infected was 83,374 and the number of deaths was 2,858; In Vietnam, the number of reported cases has increased to 16, but up to now all confirmed patients for Covid-19 have been completely cured.

The Covid-19 epidemic caused enormous damage not only to people but also to the economy of Vietnam in particular and the world in general. The Government of Vietnam has introduced and implemented a number of disease prevention measures to minimize the spread of the disease, especially measures to isolate and prevent people from affected areas. Recently, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs issued the Official Telegraph No. 01 / CD-LDTBXH of February 2nd, 2020 on strengthening measures to prevent and combat against Covid-19. Specifically, some material contents are as follows:

Firstly, it is required that units, enterprises and organizations employing foreigners working in the local area to temporarily stop accepting workers who come back to China for Tet holiday to return to Vietnam to work and foreign workers who move to affected areas the epidemic during the time of announcement of the Covid-19 epidemic.

In case that those foreign workers returned to Vietnam to work, the enterprise must report the list of enterprise’s employees who have just returned to Vietnam from China with the necessary information as required, implement isolation measures in the live and workplace under the guidance of the health authorities as well as follow and check health within 14 days from the date of entry into Vietnam. Recently, many isolated areas have been established in Vinh Phuc province, Binh Duong province, Ho Chi Minh city, etc. which there are various of a Chinese worker. In addition, due to the increasingly complicated disease situation in Korea, localities have now tightened isolation measures for Koreans from affected areas by the epidemic. Besides, the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs regularly updates its local labour situation to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, including the number of foreign workers returning to their home country for Tet holiday, the number who passed through affected area by the epidemic, the number of the foreign worker returning to Vietnam, etc.

Secondly, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Management Boards of industrial parks, export processing zones, and local economic zones temporarily stop the granting of work permits for foreign workers from epidemic areas during the time when Vietnam announced Covid-19 epidemic. According to the above regulations, workers from epidemic areas of China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. will temporarily not be granted work permits until a new decision is issued (this depends on control and checking the epidemic in Vietnam and other countries).

In general, the Vietnamese government make the best efforts on controlling the spread of Covid-19 because up to now, there have been no reported deaths due to Covid-19 and other confirmed cases have been cured. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have removed Vietnam from the list of “Countries with virus-spreading signs in the community”. This is a praiseworthy signal and creates favourable conditions for economic recovery after losses cause by Covid-19.

However, with the regulations issued in the Official Telegraph of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnamese enterprises employ foreign workers (from the epidemic area) as well as foreign workers who want to return to Vietnam to work or apply for the work permit, the temporary residence card will face great disadvantages, specifically as follows:

Firstly, the suspension of new work permits for foreign workers from the endemic areas during the time of Vietnam announced the Covid-19 epidemic will greatly affect the business situation and personnel arrangement of the enterprises. In addition, for some enterprises, foreign workers also hold a number of key positions in the company such as managers, experts, etc. Furthermore, the failure to apply for a work permit will lead to failing to apply for the temporary residence card because the work permit is one of the components for the temporary residence card for foreign workers working in Vietnam. If the suspension of work permit is extended, it will cause difficulties for enterprises.

Secondly, the suspension of workers from China returning to Vietnam to work and foreign workers moving through the epidemic areas during the announcement of the Covid-19 epidemic caused a huge shortage of foreign workers for the enterprises. The enterprises using large foreign workers (especially Chinese) will be in a shortage of resources for business and production activities. Moreover, for employees who hold important positions, managers in the company such as directors, chief accountants, etc., the absence of them may cause instability and unemployment. manage. For example, to be ordered to pay monthly salary for employees, the enterprises that need to have the signature of the director, if the director does not reach Vietnam or is isolated, it will cause confusion for workers of the company.

In summary, the consequences of Covid-19 for health and life as well as for economy are enormous. Therefore, in order to contribute to quickly combating against this disease, it is necessary to join hands of each person through the observance of the guidance of the Ministry of Health and notify the state agencies when detecting suspicious cases and compliance with isolation regulations.


If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Apolat Legal – An International Law Firm in Viet Nam.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.

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