2011 13 September

Latest Key Legal Developments in Myanmar

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The Bill relating to the Labor Organizations Law submitted by the Ministry of Labor, and the Bill relating to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Microfinance Law submitted by the Ministry of Finance and Revenue have been approved and are expected to be promulgated by the President as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw laws soon.

The Labor Organizations Bill

This Bill deals with the formation of relevant labor organizations, their role and powers, registration requirements, lock-outs and strikes, prohibitions and penalties, among others. For example, the Bill allows employees to form labor organizations at respective levels which must be registered. Labor organizations can demand that employers re-employ workers who have been dismissed for reasons of their membership of labor organizations. Employers are required to recognize labor organizations which represent workers and cannot close the industry, public or non-public utility, as defined under the law, without the permission of township board of conciliation. Employers are prohibited from dismissing employees pending conciliation or arbitration proceedings, or for participating in strike action. Strike action is recognized, subject to compliance with certain formalities. The present Trade Unions Act of 1929 is repealed by this Bill.

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Microfinance Bill

Foreign and local organizations, partnerships, companies, banks and financial institutions may carry out microfinance business with a license. Applicants are required to submit an application to the Microfinance Development Working Committee (to be formed), and only after receiving prior approval of the Microfinance Supervision Committee (to be formed) (the “Supervision Committee”).

Microfinance institutions may, with the permission of the Supervision Committee, make small loans upon execution of supporting documents, agreements and acknowledgments from the borrower; receive deposits; transmit money; provide guarantees; borrow within the country or from abroad; and perform other financial activities. Microfinance institutions are bound to comply with the provisions of the Control of Money Laundering Law. Carrying out the business of microfinance without a license is prohibited.

14 September 2011