Table of Contents

Tunisia

Table of Contents

Currency

Tunisian Dinar (TND)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

20.07%

About Tunisia

Tunisia is a north African country on the Mediterranean Sea. Mountainous in the North, Tunisia has hot, dry, semi-arid areas in the south, extending to the Sahara Desert. Berbers inhabited the area in ancient times, followed by the Romans, Muslims, and specifically, the Ottoman Empire. French colonization in the late 19th century led, eventually, to its independence in 1957, followed most recently by a revolution in 2011 which led to parliamentary elections and eventual vote for President in 2014. The major ethnic groups in Tunisia are the Arabs, Europeans, and Jews. Their official language is Arabic but two-thirds of the population also speak French. Tunisia’s economy, although struggling with the corruption endemic to many countries in the region, ranked as the least corrupt in North Africa according to Transparency International. The diversity ranges from agriculture, mining, and petroleum to manufacturing and tourism. Tunisia is famous for its beaches, good weather, and ‘affordable luxuries’ (New York Times) which attract millions of visitors a year.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Per Tunisia's Labor Code, upon hiring, an employee must be informed about whether they were hired on a permanent, seasonal, or occasional basis. Permanent employees are recruited for an indefinite period. Employees hired under indefinite employment contracts must receive notice of any applicable probationary period as well as confirmation of the legal or contractual provisions applicable to them. Indefinite term contracts end when the notice period expires. When the employee continues to work without opposition from the other party at the end of a fixed-term contract's duration, the contract turns into an indefinite term contract.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Tunisia's Labor Code states that the use of fixed-term employment contracts is permitted. These agreements may be renewed, but their total duration must not exceed four years. The fixed-term employment contract ends with the expiration of the agreed duration or by carrying out the work covered by the contract. If the employee continues to work without opposition from the other party at the end of a fixed-term contract, the agreement is deemed to be an indefinite term contract.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Employers can hire temporary workers through contractors/sub-contractors. Employer is responsible, together with the labor sub-contractor, for observing all the requirements of the legislation concerning working conditions, health and safety, working hours, the work of night, the work of women and children, weekly rest and public holidays, on the occasion of the employment, in its workshops, stores or construction sites, of employees of the sub-contractor, as if it were a question of its own workers and employees and under the same sanctions. In case of insolvency of the contractor, the user company becomes responsible to pay wages, holiday compensation and social security contributions for the temporary staff. 

Probationary Period

Per Tunisia's Labor Code, the probationary period for indefinite employment contracts is regulated by collective agreements, the individual employment contract, and employer regulations. Where it is mutually agreed, this period can be renewed once or reduced. During the probationary period, both the employer and the employee may terminate the agreement without providing a valid reason or notice. In such circumstances, the employer will not be liable to pay an end of service indemnity.

Working Hours

Tunisia's Labor Code sets a standard 48-hour workweek for most sectors and requires one weekly 24-hour rest period. The standard working hours may be reduced without going below a 40-hour week or an equivalent average established over a period of time other than a week (but not exceeding 1 year). In case of interruption of work, the law allows certain industries to increase the working duration to a maximum of 64 hours a week in order to take into account the loss of time resulting from the interruption. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

January 1: New Year’s Day; March 20: Independence Day; April 9: Martyrs’ Day; May 1: Labour Day; June 15,16, and 17 End of Ramadan; July 18; July 25: Republic Day; August 13: Women’s Day; August 22 Eid al-Idha (Feast of the Sacrifice) (depending on the moon calendar, shifts towards the beginning of the year by 11 days per year); August 23 and 24 Aid El Kebir Holiday (date varies on Lunar cycle); September 11 Ras elam el Hejri; October 15 Evacuation Day; November 20 Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday. The religious holidays are officially confirmed by the religious authorities of the Tunisian government.

• Paid Annual Leave

Tunisia's Labor Code provides annual leave to all employees upon completion of at least 1 month of service. Employees over 21 are entitled to 1 day of leave per month for a total duration of 15 calendar days (12 working days) of annual leave. The duration of annual leave for employees under 18 years of age is a total of 30 calendar days (24 working days) annually and accrues at the rate of 2 working days per month. The duration of annual leave for workers aged 18-21 years is a total of 21 calendar days (18 working days) and accrues at the rate of one and a half working days per month. The amount of annual leave an employee is entitled to also increases with the employee's length of service by one additional day of leave for every 5 years of continuous service with the same employer, up to a maximum of 18 days. Employees are entitled to their regular wages and other benefits for the duration of their annual leave. 

• Sick Leave

Tunisia's Labor Code does not specify the amount of paid sick leave to which an employee is entitled. Sick leave causes the employment contract to be suspended. Sick leave only constitutes a reason for termination if it is sufficiently serious or prolonged that the company's needs require the employer to replace the sick employee. Tunisia's social insurance fund provides sickness benefits to employees for up to 180 days a year after a 5-day waiting period. Two-thirds (66.7%) of the insured worker's average daily wage is paid for the first 3 years; 50% is paid for up to 180 days a year in each subsequent year. Benefits are paid every 2 weeks.

• Maternity Leave

Female employees in Tunisia are entitled to 30 days of paid maternity leave upon a child's birth. In the case of illness or complications arising from pregnancy and confinement, a female worker is entitled to 15 days of additional leave. Leaves are granted upon the employee providing a medical certificate. Qualifying mothers are eligible to receive maternity benefits from the social security fund of two-thirds (66.7%) of the average daily wage during the period of maternity leave (30 days) and any subsequent extension on medical grounds (up to 15 days). This allowance is granted only if the employee has worked for at least 80 days in the last year preceding the quarter of her delivery.

• Paternity Leave

Tunisia's Labor Code provides paternity leave to fathers upon their child's birth. Private sector employees are entitled to 1 day of paternity leave, which they must avail themselves of within 7 days of the child's birth. The employer and employee must agree on when the leave is to be taken.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

In Tunisia, employers and employees must give one month's notice in writing. This notice period is the same for all categories of employees. If the provisions of an individual or collective agreement require a longer period of notice, those provisions will be applied. The employer must indicate the reasons for termination of employment in the notice letter. If compensation is paid in lieu of notice, the amount must be at least equal to wages payable for the notice period's length or its remainder. The employee has a right to time off to seek other employment during the second half of the notice period, without any salary loss.

• Severance Benefits

In Tunisia, every employee bound by a contract of employment for an indefinite term and dismissed after the expiration of a probationary period is entitled to receive a severance allowance (unless the employee was dismissed for serious misconduct). The allowance is calculated based on one day’s salary (paid at the moment of the dismissal) for each month of active service with the same company. The severance allowance cannot exceed three months’ salary, regardless of the duration of effective service. However, collective agreements can stipulate conditions more favorable to employees.