Table of Contents

Tonga

Table of Contents

Currency

Tongan paʻanga (TOP)

Payroll Frequency

Daily/Weekly/Bi-monthly/Monthly

Employer Taxes

5%

About Tonga

Tonga, a captivating Polynesian kingdom in the South Pacific, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. This archipelago of over 170 islands is renowned for its stunning white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Visitors to Tonga can explore its untouched landscapes, from picturesque coastal villages to lush rainforests and hidden waterfalls. The warm hospitality of the Tongan people, known for their traditional customs and strong sense of community, creates an inviting atmosphere for travelers.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

There is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, so the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. If there is no duration set in the contract, a permanent employment contract could be implied. In an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future, according to the Employment Relations Bill 2020.  Employment contracts would be made for indefinite duration by default with no specified duration. Such contracts cannot be terminated by the employer unless it is justified on reasonable grounds.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

There is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, so the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. If no duration is set in the contract, a permanent employment contract could be implied. If the employer wants to hire an employee for a specific period or a fixed amount of time, the employer must include that in the terms of the contract.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

There is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, so the terms of the employment contract will outline the duration, rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. If no duration is set in the contract, a permanent employment contract could be implied. If the employer wants to hire an employee on a temporary basis, the employer must include that in the terms of the contract.

Probationary Period

In the Kingdom of Tonga, because there is no statute regulating employment, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to provide guidance on employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. An employment contract may provide for a probationary period that does not exceed 6 months. During the probationary period, an employer may terminate the employee with 1 week’s notice. During the probationary period, grounds for termination may include the employee’s capacity or conduct.

Working Hours

Where there is no statute, the applicable law in Tonga is the English common law. The common law includes, as a primary consideration, the terms of the employment contract. Therefore, since there is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. Working hours are set at no more than 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. The regular working schedule cannot be more than 6 days a week. The employer and employee may agree in the employment contract for overtime pay which is calculated into the salary. In this situation, an employer can require the employee to work in excess of the abovementioned hours. An employee who refuses to accept working additional hours may not be treated less favorably by the employer.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

X

• Paid Annual Leave

In the Kingdom of Tonga, there is no statute regulating employment; the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. Employees are entitled to 12 days of paid annual leave each year. The employee may use the leave in 1 unbroken period or split the leave into two or more periods. The employee must take at least 1 week of continuous leave per year, and the remaining days may be split up as the employee likes. An employer may set the rules for carryover leave. However, these rules must not have a deferral or an accumulation period exceeding 18 months. The employee is entitled to the normal rate of pay during the paid annual leave, and the payment for this leave must be given on the payday immediately following the vacation. Upon termination of employment, the employer must pay the employee for any unused leave that has accrued. If the employee is paid a salary that accounts for paid annual leave, the employer does not have to pay for any unused annual leave upon termination.

• Sick Leave

In the Kingdom of Tonga, because there is no statute regulating employment, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. Employees who have worked for the same employer for more than 6 continuous months are entitled to a minimum of 10 days of paid sick leave per year. This leave does not roll over into the next year. To use paid sick leave for an illness-related absence, an employee must notify the employer as soon as reasonably practicable and produce a written certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner that certifies the employee’s incapacity for work.

• Maternity Leave

In the Kingdom of Tonga, because there is no statute regulating employment, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. Female employees expecting to give birth are entitled to 30 consecutive working days of maternity leave. This leave is granted when the employee furnishes a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or nurse confirming the pregnancy and specifying the delivery date. The maternity leave is not required to be paid. The maternity leave may be taken at any time but at least 15 days must be taken after the child's birth. If the employer and employee agree, the maternity leave may last longer than 30 working days.

• Paternity Leave

There are no legal provisions for paternity leave in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

There is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, so the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to provide guidance on employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future. To terminate an employment relationship, parties to an employment agreement must give notice. The minimum is 1 week for employees who have worked for the employer for less than 2 years and 2 weeks if the employee has worked for 2 years or more. This notice must be in writing. If the employer initiates the termination, the employer can pay wages in lieu of the notice period.

• Severance Benefits

There is no legal requirement to provide severance benefits in the Kingdom of Tonga.