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Country Introduction – Tunisia:
Capital – Tunis
Currency – Euro
GDP – 46.69 billion USD (2021)
Language – Arabic
Major Religion – Islam
Population – 12,475,069 (as of August 28, 2023)
Tunisia’s economy is characterised by a diverse mix of sectors that contribute to its overall development. Tunisia has historically been one of the more developed and diversified economies in North Africa. It has a mixed economy with elements of both market-oriented policies and state intervention.
Its economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The country produces crops like olives, wheat, and citrus fruits. However, in recent years, the services sector, including tourism, has become a significant contributor to the economy.
Tourism has been a major driver of Tunisia’s economy, attracting visitors to its beautiful Mediterranean beaches, historical sites, and cultural heritage. The manufacturing sector includes industries such as textiles, clothing, electronics, and automotive components, contributing to both domestic consumption and exports.
Tunisia has also been working to diversify its economy and promote investment in sectors such as information technology and renewable energy. The government has aimed to create a more business-friendly environment to attract foreign direct investment.
Living in Tunisia offers a culturally diverse experience with a blend of Arab, Berber, and Mediterranean influences. The cost of living is relatively affordable, and the climate is Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. Arabic and French are widely spoken, and English is becoming more common. Education and healthcare are accessible. Tunisian cuisine is rich and varied, and the country is generally safe.
Contract of Employment
In Tunisia, there are two categories of employment contracts: indefinite and limited duration. Although written employment contracts are not obligatory as per the Labor Code, they can be formed through different methods. Nevertheless, it’s strongly advisable to furnish employees with a written employment contract when they commence their work. It’s crucial to emphasise that fixed-term contracts necessitate written documentation, with each party holding a copy.
Probationary periods in Tunisia are governed by either collective agreements or individual employment contracts. According to the guidelines outlined in the Collective Framework Agreement, the maximum duration of probationary periods is as follows:
– Six months for employees in execution roles.
– Nine months for technicians.
– One year for managers, supervisors, and executives.
It’s important to note that the probation period can be extended for one additional term upon mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. This extension provides both parties with the opportunity to further evaluate the working relationship.
For employees with indefinite contracts, the notice period is typically as follows:
– One month for employees with less than five years of service.
– Two months for employees with five to ten years of service.
– Three months for employees with more than ten years of service.
For fixed-term contracts, the notice period is usually equal to the remaining duration of the contract, unless otherwise specified in the contract.
The normal working hours in Tunisia were typically set at 48 hours per week, which translates to 8 hours per day for 6 days a week.
Overtime work is generally considered any work exceeding 48 hours per week, which is the standard weekly working limit. The overtime pay rate is usually set at 125% to 150% of the regular hourly wage, depending on the circumstances and labor regulations.
13th Month Pay
Employers in Tunisia are not required to provide a 13th-month pay to their employees by law.
The duration of annual leave is typically based on the length of service. According to the Labor Code:
For employees with less than one year of service, the annual leave entitlement is 1.5 days per month worked and for employees with more than one year of service, the entitlement is 2 days per month worked.
According to the country’s labor regulations, it’s possible that sick pay might not be given for the initial three days of your absence due to illness. At a minimum, employees should receive a form of income for the initial six months of sickness. This income should be no less than 45 percent of the minimum wage.
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Maternity leave typically lasts for 30 days before the expected date of childbirth and 14 weeks after childbirth, making a total of 16 weeks of maternity leave.
Paternity leave duration can vary, but it is often around 3 to 5 days.
VAT / GST
|Goods or Services
|All other taxable goods and services
|Reinsurance services; goods transportation
|Medical and veterinarian services; paper for magazines and newspapers; tourism
|Exports and related services
|Basic foodstuffs; some financial services; agriculture supplies; physical and electronic publishing; pharmaceuticals; loan interest; international transport
Tax rates for resident employees follow a progressive structure, and they are expressed in Tunisian dinars (TND).
|Annual Income Bracket
|TND0 to TND5,000
|TND5,000.01 to TND20,000
|TND20,000.01 to TND30,000
|TND30,000.01 to TND50,000
Non-resident employees in Tunisia are liable for a fixed tax rate of 20 percent on their total gross income.
Employer / Employee Contributions
In Tunisia, both employers and employees make contributions to the social security system. Employers contribute to the social security fund, healthcare fund, and pension fund, while employees also contribute to these funds through deductions from their wages. These contributions support benefits like healthcare coverage and retirement pensions for employees.
The rates and details of contributions in Tunisia can differ based on factors like income and employment type. Additional contributions may be necessary in certain sectors or industries.
Here is a list of some of the major public holidays in Tunisia:
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 14 – Revolution Day
March 20 – Independence Day
April 9 – Martyrs’ Day
May 1 – Labour Day
Eid al-Fitr – Date varies based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
July 25 – Republic Day
Eid al-Adha – Date varies based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Islamic New Year – Date varies based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday – Date varies based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Please note that Islamic holidays are based on the lunar calendar and their dates vary from year to year.
Severance pay is determined by using a day’s wage for each month of an employee’s tenure with the company, encompassing all bonuses and perks. Irrespective of the duration of employment, the highest possible severance pay is equivalent to three months’ salary.
It is usually paid as a lump sum to the employee upon retirement or termination. The payment can be subject to tax and other deductions.
Work and Residence Permits (Expatriates)
Here are some key points about work and residence permits for expatriates in Tunisia:
– Employer Sponsorship: Typically, expatriates need a job offer from a Tunisian employer to apply for a work permit. The employer usually plays a significant role in initiating and facilitating the work permit application process.
– Application Process: The process for obtaining a work permit involves submitting relevant documents to the appropriate government authorities. This might include copies of the employment contract, proof of qualifications, and other supporting documentation.
– Approval: Once the application is reviewed and approved, the expatriate can obtain a work permit that specifies the job position, employer, and other relevant details.
– Connected to Work Permit: In many cases, the work permit is linked to the residence permit. Expatriates need a valid work permit to apply for a residence permit.
– Application Process: The application process for a residence permit typically involves applying to the relevant immigration or police authorities. This might include providing proof of accommodation, financial means, and other documentation.
– Validity: Residence permits are usually granted for a specific duration, often tied to the length of the employment contract.
– Renewal: Expatriates might need to renew their residence permits before they expire. The renewal process might require submitting updated documentation.
– Family Members: In some cases, expatriates can also apply for residence permits for their family members, such as spouses and children.
It’s important to note that the procedures, requirements, and regulations for work and residence permits can change over time.