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      Labour relation and social security

      Labour contracts are freely considered as limited time working contracts. Businessmen can freely hire foreign managers supervisors up to 4 per company. Foreign nationals who are non-residents before their recruitment, can choose another social security system other than the Tunisian one.

      The Labour Code

      A Labour Code and sector-related union contracts govern professional relationships in Tunisia.

      Adopted amendments in 1994 and in 1996:

      - Employee' productivity considered when evaluating the salary.

      - Temporary work contracts set. Fixed-length contracts set even for permanent jobs and may last 4 years.

      - Working hours adapted to the company' needs.

      - Part of the salary determined on productivity basis.

      - Staff firing or laying-off for economic and technological reasons.

      - Ceiling set for unfair dismissal damages payment.

      - Communication channels standardization into a single body called the "company advisory committee".

      International Agreements

      Tunisia ratified seven labour international agreements related to the fundamental right to work.

      - Agreement N° 142 concerns the role or orientation and vocational training in optimising human resources.

      - Agreement N° 159 concerns the re-adaptation of handicapped people to professional work.

      - A 1990 protocol related to Agreement N° 89 on night work for women.

      - Agreement N° 138 concerns the minimum age accepted to work.

      Bilateral Agreements

      Tunisia concluded social security bilateral agreements with France, Belgium, Algeria, the Netherlands, Libya, Austria, Italy, Germany and Luxemburg. The objective of these agreements is to guarantee the rights of expatriate employees as regards social security.

      These agreements notably confirm the following principles:

      - Equal treatment of citizens from both countries vis-?-vis social security regulations.

      - Safeguard of acquired rights in the host country.

      - Sum of carried-up insurance periods to apply for social security allowances.

      These treaties cover the following social security fields in Tunisia:

      - Sickness, maternity and death insurance.

      - Family allowances.

      - Old age, invalid and survival insurance.

      - Insurance against work-related accidents and occupational diseases insurance.

      Wages and Social Contributions

      The amount of wages is determined based on private sector wages agreements or is freely-negotiated between employers and employees, providing a conformity with the legal minimum wages determined by law.

      Minimum wage

      Industry* Agriculture**

      Monthly Hourly Daily

      40 hours 170.905 0.986 6.059

      48 hours 195.520 0.940

      May 2000

      in TND

      *SMIG (minimum inter-professional guaranteed salary).

      **SMAG (minimum agricultural guaranteed salary).

      Net monthly wage of executives and supervisors

      Accountant 280

      Supervisor 280

      Senior technician 400

      Engineer (beginner) 700

      Social Security

      The social security system in Tunisia concerns almost all wage-earners and those entitled to it, regardless of their social and professional categories.

      A 2% reduction from the contribution rate to the social security system is granted to companies that provide their employees with a healthcare insurance stipulated by agreement.


      CNSS, Social Security National Fund

      Membership in a foreign social security system

      Foreign investors and non-resident foreign personnel, including those working in free zones can be linked up with their own country's social security system before their recruitment.

      Health in the workplace

      Companies employing more than 300 wage-earners must have their own medical service. If they have from 100-300 workers, the companies can join as a group to start an inter-company medical service.


      Start-up formalities of the company' business

      - The employer declares the company start-up to the territorially competent factory inspection authority.

      - Files are available at the factory' inspection authority.

      - A file of registration and affiliation with the CNSS.

      Work contracts

      Recruitment of workers can be done through a work contract of a predetermined or undetermined time period. It can be carried-out directly or through a public office.

      In any case, the recruitment of workers by a length-determined contract cannot exceed four years including renewals. In free-zones work contracts have a determined length.


      - Tunisian Employment Authority.

      - National Office for Management Employment.

      - Sector-based employment offices.

      - Regional management employment offices.

      Trial periods (management collective wage agreement)

      - Workers: 6 months,

      - Supervisors: 9 months,

      - Managers: 12 months.

      Foreigners employment

      Any foreigner willing to exercise a wage-earning job in Tunisia must have:

      - A work contract for a period not exceeding one year renewable once, and stamped by the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment.

      - A valid residence' permit.

      Fully exporting companies and those operating in free zones can freely recruit upon a simple statement up to four foreign managers.

      Above that, an authorization from the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment is needed.

      Contact: The Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment.

      Labor disputes

      They are dependent on the first instance court Conciliation Board. Employers intending to fire workers must indicate the dismissal causes in a letter of notice.

      Dismissal indemnities

      - Abusive dismissal: 1 to 2 months wages per year of seniority not exceeding 36 months wages.

      - Dismissal for serious fault: 1 to 4 months wages.

      Vocational Training

      Supporting systems have been put in place by the State to encourage initial training within companies.

      - A rebate of the Vocational Training tax, TFP, to which non-exporting companies are subject.

      - A financial support within the National Program for Continuous Training.

      - Training costs assumption of 50% maximum that can reach TND250,000 to encourage technology control.
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