Hire in Tunisia

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Tunisia.

View of Kairouan, Tunisia

Tunisian Currency

Tunisian Dinar (TND)

The Capital of Tunisia


Time Zone in Tunisia


Important Facts About the Country of Tunisia

Introduction to Tunisia

Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is Africa’s northernmost country. It is home to 12.1 million people. The country’s geographical location boasts Cape Angela, Africa’s northernmost point, and its capital city, Tunis, situated along the northeast coast, lends its name to the nation. Following the French conquest in 1881, Tunisia eventually gained independence in 1956.

What to Know about Tunisia's Geography

Tunisia is located halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nile Delta. It borders Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. It covers 163,610 square kilometers and is known for its ancient architecture, souks and blue coasts.

Climate in Tunisia

The climate of Tunisia varies due to the country’s diverse geography, which is divided into three regions. The climate in the northern mountainous region is Mediterranean, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Approaching the Sahara Desert in the south, the climate becomes hot, dry and semiarid. The eastern coastal border has an arid steppe climate.

The Culture of Tunisia

The Tunisian culture is the result of more than 3,000 years of history and a significant multiethnic influx. Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Siculo-Normans, Turks, Italians, Maltese and the French have all made their stamp on Tunisia’s culture over the course of the country’s long history.

Religions Observed in Tunisia

The constitution of Tunisia designates Islam as the official state religion and the vast majority of the population, over 98%, identifies as Muslims. Approximately 2% adhere to Christianity or Judaism.

Languages Spoken in Tunisia

The official language of Tunisia is Arabic, with the majority of the population speaking a variant of Tunisian Arabic. Modern standard Arabic is taught in schools. French plays a significant role in news reporting, education and government. English and Italian also serve as lingua francas to a lesser extent.

Tunisian Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Tunisia

The Labor Code of 1966, last updated in 2017, is the primary legislation that regulates employment relationships in Tunisia. This code governs various aspects of employment terms and conditions, including working hours, holidays, wages, overtime and leave entitlements. Additionally, sector-specific collective agreements, along with ministerial orders and decrees, also play a significant role in regulating employment relationships.

Employment Contracts in Tunisia

In Tunisia, employment contracts may be of two types: indefinite or limited duration. While the Labor Code does not require written employment contracts, it does allow for employment relationships to be established through various means. However, it is highly recommended to provide employees with a written employment contract at the outset of their employment.

It is important to note that fixed-term contracts must be made in writing, with each party retaining one copy.

Tunisia's Fixed Term Contract Terms

In Tunisia, employment contracts can be open-ended or fixed-term, part-time or full-time.

A fixed-term contract is allowed in the following cases:

  • To complete work in the first establishment or new tasks
  • To complete work arising from an extraordinary increase in demand
  • The temporary replacement of an absent or suspended permanent worker
  • Urgent repair and safety work
  • Seasonal work or work where permanent contracts are not customary

A fixed-term contract can also be concluded in other cases by mutual agreement under the condition that the total duration, including renewals, does not exceed four years. If a fixed-term contract is renewed for more than four years, it is automatically converted into an indefinite employment contract.

Regarding salary and other benefits, employees under the fixed-term contract cannot be discriminated against compared to permanent employees.

Pre-Employment Checks

Employers may request criminal record information from employees with the employee’s prior consent. However, there are no legal requirements or restrictions on pre-employment screening procedures such as education and reference checks. Typically, a job applicant’s CV includes the necessary information related to education and employment history. Additionally, employers may request copies of diplomas or certificates of employment or internship as needed.

Tunisia's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

The probation period is regulated by collective agreements or individual employment contracts. Based on the Collective Framework Agreement, the maximum probation period is:

  • Six months for execution employees
  • Nine months for technicians
  • One year for managers, supervisors and executives

The probation period can be renewed once by mutual agreement.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Tunisia

Normal working hours are 48 hours per week. In certain sectors, this duration may be reduced to 40 hours per week.

Employees should have at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven-day period, for example, per week. This rest break is generally provided on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Tunisian Laws Regarding Overtime

The total work hours inclusive of both the regular and overtime work hours cannot exceed 10 hours a day and, therefore, cannot exceed 60 hours a week.

All overtime work must be compensated by the following percentages in addition to the base salary:

  • Full-time employment of 48 hours per week: 75%
  • Full-time employment of fewer than 48 hours per week: 25% up to 48 hours and 50% thereafter
  • Part-time employment: 50%


Employers may terminate an employee due to serious misconduct, economic circumstances or technological reasons. A list of serious misconduct justifying dismissal is set out in the law, such as willful damage to the property of the undertaking, bribe-taking, theft, divulging trade secrets and the like. The Labor Code requires an employer to mention the reason for dismissal in the written notice. The dismissal is considered unfair if not justified by a genuine and serious reason, and the employee is entitled to receive compensation beyond severance pay.

Employees cannot be terminated because of pregnancy, maternity leave, temporary work injury, illness, trade union membership/activities or engagement in military duties.

Tunisia's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

To terminate an employment contract, a minimum of one month’s written notice to the other party is required. A longer notice period may also be provided if stipulated in a contract or collective bargaining agreement. When proper notice is not given, an amount equal to the notice period must be paid as compensation.

Specifically, the period of notice for journalists, commercial travelers and sales representatives varies between one and three months.

Employees are permitted to seek alternative employment during the second half of their notice period. This period of absence is considered to be work and does not result in a wage or compensation reduction.

Severance Pay in Tunisia

Employees dismissed after completing their probationary period are entitled to severance pay, except in cases of dismissal for serious misconduct. The severance pay is calculated on the basis of one day’s salary for each month of service at the company, including all bonuses and benefits. Regardless of tenure, the maximum amount of severance pay is three months’ salary. Collective agreements can, however, increase the amount. The severance pay must be paid at the time of termination.

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

Employers can insert non-competitive clauses into employment contracts, provided they are reasonable, justified and limited in time (up to two years) and space.

Data Protection

The general data protection regime of Tunisia aims to resemble that of the EU. The National Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (INPDP) is the major data protection law in the country. Employers must obtain the explicit, written consent of employees before processing their personal data.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Tunisia

Personal Income Tax in Tunisia

As a general rule, employers are required to withhold income tax on employment income and remit them to the Tunisian tax authorities on a monthly basis.

Personal income tax is calculated according to the following progressive rates:

Annual Taxable Income (TND) Tax Rate %
0 – 5,000 0
5,001 – 20,000 26
20,001 – 30,000 28
30,001 – 50,000 32
50,001 and above 35

Social Security in Tunisia

In Tunisia, those working in the private sector are covered by the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). Employers have the responsibility of enrolling their employees with CNSS within a month of their hiring date. Furthermore, employers are required to deduct both employee and employer social security contributions on a monthly basis, which must then be submitted quarterly to the social security authorities.

Employers are required to contribute 16.57% of the employee’s monthly gross salary to CNSS, while employees must contribute 9.18%. Employers must also contribute between 0.4% and 4.2% to accident insurance. There is no salary cap applicable to CNSS contributions or accident insurance premiums. The following is a breakdown by insurance category.

Category Employee Contribution (%) Employer Contribution (%) Total
Old age, disability, survivors 4.74 7.76 12.5
Illness, maternity 3.17 5.08 8.25
Family Benefits 0.89 2.21 3.10
Social Security for Workers – State Special Fund 0.38 1.52 1.90
Employment injuries & occupational diseases NA Between 0.4% and 4% Between 0.4% and 4%

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Tunisian Employees

Salary Payment

In Tunisia, it is mandatory to pay employee salaries in the legal currency unless otherwise specified in an agreement. Hourly and daily employees must be paid at least once per week, while monthly employees must receive their pay on a monthly basis. Additionally, it is not permissible to pay employees on their designated day of rest.


The employer must provide payslips to employees that include the following information:

  • The name and address of the employer or business name of the establishment
  • The number under which the employer pays its contributions to the Social Security Fund
  • The employee’s name and the position held
  • The period and the number of hours or days worked
  • A list of allowances and benefits in addition to the wages and their amounts
  • The total amount of gross compensation due to the worker
  • The nature and amount of deductions made from the gross pay
  • The amount of net take-home pay by the employee
  • Compensation payment date

Annual Leave

Annual leaves vary depending on whether the employee works in the agricultural sector or not.

For those working in the agricultural sector, the leaves are as follows:

  • Employees with at least six months with the same employer: one working day per month for a maximum of 15 days (including 12 working days)
  • Employees under the age of 18 years as of December 31 of each year: two working days per month for a maximum of 30 days (including 24 working days)
  • Employees between the age of 18 to 20 years as of December 31 of each year: 1.5 working days per month for a maximum of 22 days (including 18 working days)

For those working in non-agricultural sectors, the leaves are as follows:

  • Employees with at least one month with the same employer: one working day per month for a maximum of 15 days (including 12 working days)
  • Employees under the age of 18 years as of December 31 of each year: two working days per month for a maximum of 30 days (including 24 working days)
  • Employees between the age of 18 to 20 years as of December 31 of each year: 1.5 working days per month for a maximum of 22 days (including 18 working days)

One month of work in these circumstances is defined as 26 working days.

Sick Leave

The number of sick leave days is not specified in the Labor Code. Employees must notify their employer within 48 hours of illness. Additionally, the employee must provide a medical certificate. The sick leave is paid for by social security.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Female employees are entitled to 30 days of paid maternity leave. In the event of pregnancy-related illness or complications, a female employee is entitled to 15 days of additional leave. Leaves are granted on the provision of a medical certificate. The maternity leave is paid for by social security.

Male employees are entitled to one day of paid paternity leave, which must be used within seven days of the child’s birth. The paternity leave is paid for by social security.

Public Holidays

There are 12 national and religious holidays observed in Tunisia. When employees are required to work on official holidays, they are entitled to compensation equal to 200% of their normal hourly wage.

Benefits to the Employee in Tunisia

Tunisian Statutory Benefits

These include annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime pay and paternity leave. Statutory benefits also include social security benefits.

Other Benefits

Typical supplemental benefits in Tunisia include performance-based bonuses, a private health insurance plan and the like.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Tunisia

General Information

Tunisia offers visa-free entry for up to 90 days to citizens of several nations, such as the United States and European Union member states. However, foreign nationals visiting for less than 90 days for business trips or conferences are required to obtain a short-stay visa.

For those intending to stay longer than 90 days to engage in paid employment, a long-stay visa and residence permit are necessary upon arrival in Tunisia. This applies to citizens of visa-exempt countries as well. The residence permit is granted for a two-year period and is renewable upon expiration of the work contract. Renewals are typically valid for up to five years.

Public Holidays Recognized by Tunisia in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Independence Day March 20
3 Martyrs’ Day April 9
4 Eid al-Fitr April 10
5 Eid al-Fitr Holiday April 11
6 Eid al-Fitr Holiday April 12
7 Labour Day May 1
8 Eid al-Adha June 16
9 Eid al-Adha Holiday June 17
10 Islamic New Year July 7
11 Republic Day July 25
12 Women’s Day August 13
13 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday September 15
14 Evacuation Day October 15
15 Revolution and Youth Day December 17

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