Country Information

The Republic of Tunisia is a North African country that is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic. Arabic is the official language, although a variation known as Tounsi is spoken as well. The main industries in Tunisia are agriculture and the service sector, but the country is also focused on mining and manufacturing. The European Union (EU) is Tunisia’s main trading partner, accounting for most of its imports and exports. Its role as a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Africa make Tunisia a potential strategic location to access numerous markets across several continents.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Tunisia can be oral or written. The preferred practice is to put a strong, written (in Arabic) contract in place, clearly setting out the terms of the employee’s compensation, benefits and termination requirements. The contract of employment must also include the salary and any compensation in Tunisian dinars.

Working Hours

The standard work period in Tunisia is either 48 hours a week or 40 hours a week, depending on the applicable collective labor agreement or employer policy. Employees receive at least 24 hours of rest. Employers must get permission from the Labor Inspector before employees can work overtime. The total number of work hours, regular plus overtime, cannot exceed 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week. Accordingly, overtime cannot exceed 12 hours in a 48-hour week or 20 hours in a 40-hour week. Overtime pay depends on whether the employee is working a 48-hour or 40-hour week.

Sick Leave

Tunisia does not specify the number of sick days an employee can receive. However, employees must inform their employer within 48 hours of the illness and provide a medical certificate. Eligible employees receive payments while on sick leave from social security.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 30 days (private sector) or 60 days (public sector) of paid maternity leave, which can be extended by 15 days in the event of a pregnancy-related illness or complication.Fathers receive one day of leave (private sector) or two days (public sector), which must be taken within seven days of the birth.

Compensation

Employers are not required to include bonuses as part of employees’ compensation packages but bonuses based upon performance are common.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive a minimum of 12 days of annual leave per year. This increases by one day for every five years of service up to 18 days of annual leave. However, many employers and collective bargaining agreements give employees 30 days of annual leave.

Public Holidays

The following public holidays are observed in Tunisia:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Revolution and Youth Day
  • Independence Day
  • Martyr’s Day
  • Labour Day
  • Eid al-Fitr
  • Eid al-Adha
  • Republic Day
  • Islamic New Year
  • Women’s Day
  • Evacuation Day
  • Mawlid
Health Insurance Benefits

Employees have access to healthcare through Tunisia’s social security fund. Employers commonly provide supplementary private insurance.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Both employers and employees can terminate an employment contract by providing notice. The notice period is one month unless a longer period of notice is required by collective or employment agreement. Compensation in the amount of the notice period must be paid where notice is not properly given. Employers and employees can terminate an employment contract at any time during the probation period without providing a reason or notice. Special rules apply for redundancy dismissal. Employees generally receive one day of severance pay for each month of service, up to three months’ salary.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Tunisia, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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