Last updated on: November 3rd, 2022
The Labour Law in Tunisia is regulated mainly by the Labour Code of 1966 (amended as of 2017). The Labour Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The employment relationship is also governed by an array of Ministerial Orders and Decrees.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee who has completed at least 1 month of employment with the same employer is entitled to annual leave at the rate of 1 day per month with the total duration of leave not exceeding 15 calendar days, which includes 12 working days. The starting date of the period taken into consideration for the assessment of the right to leave is set at January 1 for each year. Leave with pay not exceeding 6 working days must be continuous.
The leave of more than 6 working days can be divided by the employer, with the approval of the employee. In the event that the leave is accompanied by the closure of the establishment, the split may be carried out by the employer or employee’s representative.
In the case of splitting, a fraction must be at least 6 working days, including between 2 days of weekly rest. The other fractions cannot be less than a whole day. The duration of annual leave is increased by 1 day of extra leave for every 5 years of continuous employment with the same employer to a maximum of 18 working days of annual leave.
The duration of leave for employees under 18 years of age cannot exceed 30 calendar days (24 working days) at the rate of 2 working days per month. The duration of annual leave for workers aged 18- 20 years cannot exceed 21 calendar days (18 working days) at the rate of one and a half working days per month.
In order to determine the duration of annual leave, periods equivalent to 26 working days are considered an effective working month.
Annual leave is granted during the period from June 1 to October 31 of each year. It may be granted during another period of the year by virtue of collective or individual agreements or by the employer when the need for the work so requires and after consulting the company advisory committee or the delegates of the personnel.
The periods of paid leave, the period of maternity leave, and the periods during which the execution of the employment contract is suspended due to an accident at work are considered periods of effective work. during an uninterrupted period not exceeding 1 year. The periods during which the execution of the employment contract has been suspended without the contract having been terminated, in particular, because of illness, work accidents, or unemployment, are counted as periods of actual work.
For the determination of the duration of the annual leave, the periods equivalent to 26 working days are considered as a month of effective work. The period of maternity leave and the periods during which the performance of the employment contract is suspended due to an industrial accident during an uninterrupted period not exceeding one year are accommodated to a period of effective work during the periods of paid leave.
In case, the annual leave is interrupted by public holidays and/or employee sickness or accident, such an interruption shall not be considered part of the annual leave. For the purpose of annual leave, working days are days normally devoted to working in the establishment even if as a result of off-season or inclement weather the days are not worked temporarily, in whole or in part, with the exception of days which are weekly rest days and public holidays.
The periods during which the performance of the employment contract has been suspended without the contract having been terminated, in particular, due to illness, industrial accident, or unemployment, are, assimilated to periods of actual work.
Pay – An employee is entitled to average daily wages, which he/she would have received for normal working days along with other benefits for the duration of his/her annual leave. Any benefit to be paid in kind shall be assessed in cash, and such sum shall be paid to the employee along with the daily allowance.
Termination of Employment – An employee whose employment terminates after having 6 continuous months of service with the same employer, before he/she could use annual leave, an employer shall in such situations pay compensation for the unused leaves. This compensation is not required to be paid when the termination is due to the gross negligence of the employee.
In the event that the establishment or part of it is closed for a period longer than that of the annual leave, the employer is required to pay the employee’s remuneration. which may not be less than the daily paid leave allowance for each of the working days of closure exceeding the said annual leave. Labour Code of 1966 (Amended as of 2017), § 112 – 129.
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum hourly wage for a non – agricultural employee in Tunisia is 2.198 Tunisian dinars for a 48 hours working week and 2.247 Tunisian dinars for a 40 hours work week.
The legislation 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.
Sickness benefit is paid after a five-day waiting period for up to 180 days a year. Two third (66.7%) of the insured employee’s average daily wage is paid for the first 3 years, 50% for up to 180 days a year for each subsequent year. Benefits are paid every 2 weeks. The average daily wage used to calculate benefits is the highest quarter of earnings in the last four quarters before the incapacity began. In case of hospitalization, the government recognizes long-term illnesses, or for incapacity that is the result of a non-work-related accident, there is no waiting period or time duration limit.
A female employee is entitled to 30 days of paid maternity leave on the birth of a child. In case of illness or complications arising due to pregnancy and confinement, an employee is entitled to an additional 15 days’ leave.
Paid maternity leave is provided to the employee with at least 80 days of contribution during the 4 calendar quarters preceding that in which confinement occurs. Employees are paid two-thirds (66.7%) of the average daily wage as a maternity leave benefit during the period of maternity leave (30 days) and any extension thereof on medical grounds by Social Security.
A female employee is entitled to 2 paid nursing breaks, each of 30-minute duration, to breastfeed their child until a child is 12 months old. One break is fixed during the morning work, and the other during the afternoon. They can be taken by mothers at the hours fixed by agreement between them and the employers. The breastfeeding breaks are in addition to the normal breaks an employee receives during the working day and it is counted in the working hours of such an employee. Labour Code of 1966 (Amended as of 2017), § 64.
The spouse is entitled to 1 day of paid leave for the birth of the child. This leave can be taken in a period of 7 days calculated from the date of birth of the child. The employer shall make the payment to the employee immediately after the expiration of his leave. The employer can further be reimbursed by Social Security upon the production of relevant documents. Labour Code of 1966 (Amended as of 2017), § 122.
Social Security provides benefits for 1 day to employees in an amount equal to the average daily wage calculated based on the insured’s earnings received in the last quarter.
An employee who has had to leave their job because they have been called up for military service in any capacity has the right to resume their job or a job in the same professional category with the same employer. Labour Code of 1966 (Amended as of 2017), § 8.